"But you look just perfect" are words I hear from friends, clients, family BUT when I look at photos (note: not selfies - in a strange way, selfies tend to make you look better even without filters!), I know. Once high, lifted cheekbones, while structurally still there, start to show glimpses of sagginess. Jowls look and feel heavier; my once V face looks more inverted than before. After all, I'm 45 and age does show up - don't get me wrong, I think ageing is a beauty in itself but I have to admit, I'll still want to look the best version of my age. But who are we kidding if we think the best and most expensive skincare will reverse this? I LOVE my skincare but I know its limitations - unlike achieving that glowy, glass like finish, sagging skin is one of those challenging conditions to treat. After all, we are dealing with the brutal forces of gravity.
One of my most memorable treatments I've had to date that adequately addresses this concern is Ulthera or Ultherapy.
What is Ulthera?
Ultherapy is the only FDA-cleared, non-invasive procedure that relies on ultrasound therapy to go deeper than other non-invasive treatments for collagen stimulation. It is the only Ultrasonic lifting device with a direct visualization function so the operator can see at which level of the skin & exactly where the energy hits. "Personally I ALWAYS use the screen and look at it with each shot fired. I’m making sure there’s a good image which coincides with good transducer placement for effective delivery of energy and minimise risk of accidental burns" Dr Toby Hui, Freia Medical. Results improve progressively over time - giving a whole meaning to the hashtag #itjustgetsbetter .
The battle between Ulthera & "generic" HIFU machines
My alliance is clear - Ulthera. For the simple reason that it WORKS. I've done Ulthera twice in the past - the first during a demo session - and honestly, the results were very mediocre and I was wondering what the hype was about. The second in Dec 2018 by Dr Toby - and boy, was I wowed. I could tell the instant results of skin tightness and firming and which progressively got better over the year (clearly, physician skill, expertise and the number of shots given DO matter). A few months ago, we considered getting a HIFU machine - with a better price point for clients, we felt we needed to know how the results stacked up and if the treatment would be "worth it". Both machines were sadly underwhelming - I hardly saw results - instantly or after. Jowls were still saggy months later. Ulthera uses micro-focused ultrasound to generate a more uniform and sustained heating / thermal effect under the skin; thereby giving that more pronounced "instant lift" and better eventual outcome. These attributes make it superior to HIFU (which uses high intensity focused ultrasound and does not go as "deep" to give the same "jump-start" for our body to create fresh, new collagen. In short, HIFU is a "better version" of a facial but is more for maintenance and probably more suited for people with minimal sagging. At 45, I think I need more help 😉 Anyone looking for more sustainable effects should consider Ulthera instead. My latest Ulthera done barely a month back was short of amazing - & seeing the results, it is clear why I love this treatment - as quickly as a few days after, jowls have reduced; skin is tauter, firmer. So, no, I've decided to do justice to my clients and not purchase either HIFU machines.
Is it painful?
Honestly, no pain, no gain. The Ulthera "discomfort" is a unique one - it's not shocking, stabbing pain but more pronounced on "bony" areas like the jawbones and feels like a "current" going to your bone. The more fleshy areas like cheeks etc were comfortable. Put on some airpods and listen to some music or a podcast - it's wonderful how our mind distracts us. This reduced my discomfort factor from a usual 7/10 to a 4/10!
In short, I would do Ulthera all over again as it still targets sagging skin the best... in a heartbeat. Here's to ageing gracefully and looking the best version of your age 🙂 xoxo