Call it the perks of the job, but we’ve tried almost everything available to help make our (admittedly chubby) cheeks a tad sharper, from makeup products that sculpt and contour; anti-ageing facials that make jawlines appear slimmer; and facial massage rollers that help lift sagging skin. So when we were introduced to Ultherapy, an FDA-approved non-invasive treatment that uses ultrasound energy to lift and tighten skin, our first reaction was to question: What made this treatment so different – and more effective – than ones we’ve previously tried?
We turned to GP with an interest in aesthetics Georgia Lee, a self-professed fan of Ultherapy (her clinic, TLC Lifestyle Practice, has offered it for the past five to six years), to tell us what makes it unique and why she uses it on her patients:
#1: You can see exactly what’s happening during the treatment.
“There is live imaging, which means both doctor and patient can see what area of skin is being treated. The scanning function (in the handpiece connected to the Ultherapy device) also helps the doctor to see which layer of skin should be treated, as the ultrasound waves can reach various tissue depths for differing purposes. For example, to treat the forehead (where skin is usually thinner on face), the ultrasound energy should be adjusted to (only reach) a more shallow depth in skin. If you don’t adjust it, (the ultrasound) will hit the bone and cause the patient a lot of pain.”
#2: It stimulates collagen production for the long term.
“When you focus the ultrasound energy on a certain point, it heats up and creates a temperature that’s about 60 to 70 degrees Celsius. Because of the (immense) heat, the collagen fibres will shrink, like what happens to a slab of meat when we cook it above a fire. This in turn causes skin to tighten. The real result, however, comes about because our skin will respond to this by producing new, and younger, collagen, and will keep repairing itself over a six-month period. It will take two weeks to see results, and the follow-up treatment should not happen before the six-month mark because that’s when the results are at its peak (most patients return for their second facial in 18-24 months).”
#3: It has similar effects as a facelift – just without the downtime.
“The most obvious results are the lifiting of the jawline, eyelids and eyebrows. Focusing the handpiece on specific points on the face helps to sculpt it better (as opposed to applying it all over your visage), and this treatment is best for those who want to preserve and augment their features (and not alter their appearance too much). It is also safe to use on your decolletage as it can lift the bust area.”
Like this? Read our review of the Aesop Express Facial treatment, which gives skin a luminous glow in just 45 minutes.