The small, handheld device is actually part of Medicube’s effort to bring the best of Korean skin-care innovations directly to your bathroom — no matter where in the world you may be or what your level of skin-care expertise is. 

Kim started Medicube back in 2014, and its products have since won Allure Korea Best of Beauty Awards and count dozens of K-pop stars as fans. Over the past eight years, “I tried to develop better and better products for skin, but at some point, I felt like there’s a limit to what you can do with skin care,” Kim tells Allure in his first-ever U.S. interview. 

Many dermatologists from here to South Korea will tell you the same thing too. Once, while interviewing a dermatologist in Seoul, they admitted that no skin-care product is truly as effective as a laser treatment. With this in mind, Kim began researching what exactly Korean celebrities do to take care of their skin beyond their product regimens, he says. 

Medicube owns a dermatology clinic in Seoul’s Gangnam neighborhood, so Kim also worked directly with dermatologists to find out about Korea’s most popular in-office procedures, like Ultratherapy, InMode, microneedling, and acupressure massages. Curious about how exactly they all worked, Kim even tried them all out for himself. “I wanted to see if they were actually more effective than our skin-care products,” he says. In the process, he learned just how greatly electrical stimulation can improve skin. From there, Kim had a mission to bring the best skin-care technology that Korean celebrities swear by for clear, glowing complexions to at-home skin-care routines. 

Of course, Kim acknowledges procedures done at dermatology clinics are extremely effective. He’s also well aware that the at-home skin-care device industry is nothing new. However, “not everyone can afford the time and money to get [in-office treatments] done,” he says. “And a lot of at-home devices that are already on the market have mostly a placebo effect.” 

Plus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t even do its own testing on American at-home skin-care tools, so many have unsubstantiated claims for their efficacy, according to Corey L. Hartman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Birmingham, Alabama. “[The FDA is] relying on existing testing, plus what the company provides as testing,” he previously told Allure. 

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