Table of Contents
A High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound facial, or HIFU facial, is a non-surgical, no-needle skin-tightening treatment that uses HIFU energy to lift, firm and tighten your skin. By sending high-intensity focused ultrasound waves to different depths of the skin, HIFU stimulates your body’s own natural repair and regeneration processes to treat signs of skin ageing and skin laxity. HIFU targets the deep layers of skin and tissue but without the surgeon’s scalpel or the downtime and associated risk of surgery – which is why it’s often described as a ‘facelift treatment without the surgery’.
HIFU is highly effective if you’re looking to smooth and tighten your skin, treat early signs of ageing, contour your facial features, redefine your jawline, improve your skin’s elasticity, and improve any ‘crepey’ skin. If you’re considering a HIFU facial, here are three key benefits:
It’s a non-surgical alternative that gives natural-looking results
HIFU technology works by triggering our skin to produce more collagen and elastin – two vital ingredients for youthful-looking skin. Collagen is what gives our skin strength and structure and a lack of this contributes to wrinkles and lines, while elastin allows the skin to be more flexible and bounce back to its original shape, a lack of elastin contributes to sagging skin. These proteins naturally decline in production and break down as we age – a process accelerated by factors such as pollution, smoking and exposure to UV light – leaving us with fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
During a HIFU facial, the HIFU energy is emitted in short bursts, targeting more superficial layers of the skin, all the way through to the SMAS which is a collagen-rich network that covers your muscle. The ultrasonic energy causes these tissues to heat up rapidly, and this heat causes a controlled (and desired) micro-trauma, which stimulates collagen and elastin production. By effectively ‘jumpstarting’ your skin’s natural healing and rejuvenation process, HIFU results in tighter, smoother, firmer skin.
As with all non-surgical treatments, your results will not be as dramatic as the surgical alternative. This skin treatment is ideal if you’re looking for natural but noticeable results without surgery; it’s also particularly good if you don’t necessarily want others to know you’ve had treatment as the results gradually build.
Sometimes called the ‘lunchtime facelift’, the average HIFU facial treatment takes approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the area. Although it can be a single treatment, in most cases we recommend a course of three treatments.
There can be some discomfort during the treatment, but most patients just report a tingling, warmth and/or heat as the pulses are applied. If you’re concerned about this, it’s perfectly fine to take an over-the-counter pain medication beforehand- do check with your practitioner before doing this; they’ll likely want to guide you, for example, we’d only suggest paracetamol if a patient is safe to do so. And there is usually no recovery time after treatment, although you may experience some minor temporary swelling, redness and/or tenderness. You can resume most normal activities straight after, although we advise avoiding heat, such as hot baths or showers for 24 hours.
When it comes to results, the process of collagen stimulation and formation can take several months, so full results will usually be seen several months after your last HIFU treatment. Depending on various factors, results last for around 12 months, after which you may choose to have maintenance treatments; this should be discussed with your practitioner to make sure you get advice specifically for you.
This information is based on our extensive experience, but it’s important to note that, as with any medical-aesthetic treatment, downtime, recovery, patient experience, and results will vary between individuals; sometimes even between an individual’s treatment sessions.
HIFU treatments are perfect for subtly tightening or contouring skin on the face – for example, if you’re noticing sagging, loose skin in your jowl area, your jawline is less defined, or you’d like to redefine features such as your cheeks. However, HIFU treatment is not just limited to your face. It’s also a popular treatment on the neck, an area that is particularly vulnerable to signs of ageing – an issue further exacerbated by all that constant looking down at our electronic devices. And HIFU is also effective at treating sagging or crepey skin elsewhere on the body, such as on the thighs, abdomen, and upper arms.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.