If you’re a skincare junkie or have been looking at ways to age gracefully, odds are you would’ve come across Ultherapy.
Among all the cutting-edge treatments that promise to help keep your skin looking smoother, more toned and wrinkle-free, Ultherapy remains one of the most popular options out there, winning the hearts of many Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Christine Brinkley, Vanessa Williams, and Kim Kardashian as well as local celebrities like Joanne Peh.
But, what is causing all the buzz surrounding this non-invasive facelift that’s purported to lift, tone, and redefine the contours of your face and neck? More importantly, is it safe?
You’ve come to the right place because Daily Vanity has gathered all the necessary information you need on this anti-ageing procedure. Let’s get started!
What is Ultherapy?
Here’s the truth: great skincare will only take you so far. Past a certain point, you need professional treatments to see significant effects.
The reason? Our collagen decreases as we age, and that’s when we start seeing surface effects. Plump cheeks start to sag, once-perky brows droop, jawlines become less defined – in short, we end up looking tired and feeling less than our best.
To turn the hands of time for our skin, Ultherapy (which is created by Ulthera, a medical device company owned by German pharmaceutical giant Merz) uses micro-focused ultrasound to stimulate the growth of collagen in the skin. Over time, this lifts and tightens skin while smoothing lines and wrinkles.
The non-invasive procedure uses ultrasound imaging to allow the doctor to see the layers of your skin during the session, so he or she can target the ultrasound energy to where it’s most needed.
How does the Ultherapy procedure work?
The treatment uses FDA-approved ultrasound technology which is applied to your skin using a probe controlled by your aesthetician.
The energy pulses through to the deepest layers of your skin (up to 4.5mm in depth), which stimulates the growth of fresh new collagen while strengthening the weak ones stored within. Through the use of ultrasound imaging, your doctor can see everything happening on screen and thus be able to know precisely where to focus on.
Depending on what surface area you’re focusing on (face, neck or chest), an Ultherapy treatment typically lasts anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes per session.
How safe is Ultherapy?
So far, Ultherapy is the only non-invasive procedure cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is also backed by numerous robust clinical trials to be safe and efficacious.
Is Ultherapy painful?
The discomfort really depends on your personal pain tolerance. However, most say that Ultherapy is comfortable with a slight discomfort around areas where the bone sits close to the skin surface and is, therefore, more sensitive to the heat.
Celebrity host and emcee, Jamie Yeo, described the treatment as gentle pulses on the skin, which became more sensitive and hotter when the device is hovered near the jawline – but the pain was nothing too unbearable.
If you’re still worried about the pain, rest assured that numbing cream is always offered before any Ultherapy session. You can also pop in a pain relief pill before the treatment as well to minimise the sensation.
If the session is becoming too painful for you, you can always inform your doctor so he or she can then pause the treatment or adjust the intensity level so that it’s more bearable for you.
Difference between Ultherapy and Thermage
Since its introduction in 2009, Ultherapy has always been pitted against Thermage, which was launched back in 2002 and has been known as the “godfather” machine of skin lifting and tightening.
Both procedures are non-invasive, which means no cutting or needles are involved, and both typically require no more than one session yearly to deliver results.
The difference lies in the technology that powers each procedure – Thermage uses radiofrequency (RF) to heat the deeper, collagen-rich layers of the skin, causing the protein to contract and encourage new collagen to grow in order to smooth, tighten, and contour skin for an overall younger-looking appearance.
Meanwhile, Ultherapy utilises high-intensity focused ultrasound energy to help stimulate the formation of new collagen deep below the skin’s surface.
A detailed consultation with your doctor is necessary in order to determine which treatment is the most suitable for your skin.
Who should go for Ultherapy?
Of course, Ultherapy is not a replacement for a surgical facelift and may not be a one solution fix-all for all skincare concerns, but here’s what it can do to alleviate key signs of ageing:
- Lift the skin over the brow
- Tighten loose skin and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores
- Reduce the appearance of sagging skin, double chin, and turkey neck (also known as skin laxity of the neck area)
- Improve the definition of the jawline and lower face
- Smooth fine lines and wrinkles over the décolletage
Is there any downtime involved?
Since Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no downtime bar for some redness and tenderness, so you can walk out and resume your daily routine immediately without having to follow any special post-treatment measures.
Before and after Ultherapy
Some have reported seeing an immediate lift right after the Ultherapy treatment, but results are most visible after two to three months.
Just check out some of the transformations featured on the official Ultherapy website below!
Ultherapy results on the face after 180 days
Ultherapy results on the brow area after 70 days
Ultherapy results on the neck area after 90 days
How much does Ultherapy cost?
Since the treatment is customised based on your facial anatomy and needs, the cost of an Ultherapy treatment varies according to the areas being treated.
Accurate pricing information is provided during your consultation with an Ultherapy-certified medical professional in Singapore, but in general, you can expect to shell out at least S$3,000 for a session of Ultherapy.
How many sessions of Ultherapy would I need?
If you’re like most candidates, you’ll likely need just one treatment per year. However, depending on the degree of your skin laxity, biological response to ultrasound energy, and your own natural collagen-building process, the doctor may recommend additional treatments.
The process of collagen growth takes place over two to three months, so what you’ll get is a gradual, natural-looking lift, leaving you looking youthful and refreshed. Results are said to last between 12 and 18 months, sometimes even longer for some individuals.
Just remember: you won’t get as drastic a result as a surgical facelift – think of Ultherapy as a great alternative especially if you are not ready to go under the knife, or if you would like to extend the effects of your previous surgical procedure.