In the last fifteen years, there’s been a distinctive shift towards non-invasive anti-aging treatments, which have proven to be great alternatives to “conventional” surgery. With newer, sophisticated technology and research pouring into the market, laser, radiofrequency, and ultrasound procedures have opened a world of possibilities, delivering remarkable results without going under the knife.
One treatment in particular, Ultherapy®, has proven its versatility, reliability, and efficacy for over a decade and is considered a staple, if not the gold standard, in anti-aging procedures. Now that new treatments have cropped up as Ultherapy’s supposed successors, let’s talk about how we still consider it the gold standard and why the wait for Ulthera Pro at Remedy was worth it.
What it is
Ultherapy has been the gold standard in non-invasive procedures that revive the skin for a fresher, more youthful look for the past ten years. As a long-standing, U.S. FDA-cleared anti-aging treatment, Ultherapy lifts the skin on the face and neck (including the brows, jaw, chin, and under the chin) and smooths fine lines and wrinkles on the décolletage, all without the need for surgery or downtime.
It’s a procedure that might seem too good to be true, so let’s get a bit technical and break down the science behind it to see how and why it works so well.
Ultherapy involves sending micro-focused ultrasound energy with visualization (MFU-V) at specific depths below the skin’s layers to stimulate collagen production. Notably, it’s the only treatment that targets the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), which plays a big role in how the face looks and moves and is the layer that cosmetic surgeons target in a traditional facelift. As the MFU-V heats that deeper layer, it forms thermal coagulation points (TCPs) that spark the body’s natural healing process, creating new collagen and elastin fibers that result in a noticeable lift and increased firmness in the skin.
Simply put, Ultherapy is a unique treatment that uses potent yet gentle energy to stimulate collagen production down the deep muscle layers of the skin—which only Ultherapy can reach—and fully rejuvenates it from the inside out.
On top of over fifty clinical studies and ninety peer-reviewed papers that back its gold star status, Ultherapy has an arsenal of exclusive features:
- Next-level visualization. Ultherapy’s exclusive DeepSEE® technology lets the practitioner see beneath the skin’s surface in real-time for precise targeting, tailored results, and ultimate comfort during the treatment.
- Depth mastery. Ultherapy effectively targets three depths of the skin’s layers (1.5, 3.0, and 4.5 mm), keenly focusing on the all-important 4.5 mm layer—the SMAS.
- Thermal precision. Ultherapy reaches optimal temperatures of 60 to 70℃ to stimulate collagen production, all while keeping the skin cool and unaffected.
- Superior collagen production. In a study where patients received treatment on just one side of their face, Ultherapy demonstrated a 42% boost in essential collagen Types I and III, which are crucial for slowing aging.
If the science and exclusive features aren’t enough, it’s also a highly decorated treatment, collecting NewBeauty awards for Best Non-Surgical Skin Tightener, Tried-and-True Skin Tightener, and Best Overall Skin Tightener since 2019. It’s a clear crowd favorite, and we’re huge fans, too.
It’s important to touch on Ultherapy’s focus on targeting the SMAS because it’s the layer that, when targeted, brings out the visible and lasting results compared to other treatments—but more on that later.
- It’s non-invasive. While the results aren’t an exact one-to-one compared to traditional facelifts, Ultherapy doesn’t involve extreme physical discomfort, sedation, or surgery, making it a low-risk treatment.
- There’s zero downtime. Because Ultherapy is a non-invasive treatment, there isn’t a lengthy recovery period, if at all. No post-op treatments needed.
- It’s precise. Ultherapy uses real-time ultrasound imaging to visualize the skin’s layers during the treatment. That way, the practitioner sees the layers they’re treating and makes sure they’re delivering the energy safely, effectively, and where it counts.
- It’s single-procedure. For many people, one Ultherapy session is enough to see the results; it’s powerful enough to produce new collagen and elastin fibers in one go.
- The results are gradual and natural. Compared to the dramatic and instant results from a traditional facelift, Ultherapy’s effects develop gradually while the body produces new collagen at the same pace. The skin will firm and lift subtly, naturally, and improve with time.
How it’s done
Ultherapy has its own console system with five components:
- Control unit. The control unit houses the technology and controls, where the practitioner can adjust settings like energy levels and treatment depth. It also has a screen that displays real-time ultrasound imaging to let the practitioner see the skin’s layers and deliver energy precisely.
- Handpiece. The handpiece is the part of the console that delivers energy to the skin.
- Transducers. These attachments connect to the handpiece and deliver energy at precise depths to the skin’s deeper layers.
- Ultrasound gel. The practitioner puts ultrasound gel on the skin before the procedure to help deliver energy efficiently.
Consultations are always the first step. You can schedule a consultation with a licensed practitioner to assess your skin concerns, goals, and medical history to see if you’re a good fit for Ultherapy.
However, you might not be a good fit if you have these conditions:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Open facial wounds or lesions
- Severe cystic acne on the face and neck
- Bleeding disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Active skin diseases or infections
- Metal, mechanical, or electrical implants
Once your practitioner clears you for treatment, they’ll create a personalized treatment plan, and you can book your appointment.
Ultherapy takes anywhere around 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the treatment areas. Before the procedure, the staff will apply a topical anesthetic and offer oral pain relievers for the most comfortable experience possible.
Afterward, the practitioner will apply a thin layer of ultrasound gel to the treatment areas and choose a compatible transducer based on your treatment plan. Using real-time ultrasound imaging, they’ll visualize the skin’s layers and target the energy where it’s needed most to stimulate collagen production and start the skin lifting and firming process.
During the treatment, you’ll feel tiny amounts of energy passing through the skin. While everyone’s discomfort tolerances are different, you shouldn’t feel anything more than gentle heat or a tingling sensation.
The lack of a recovery period makes Ultherapy an excellent alternative for facelifts. After your appointment, you’re free to go about your day as usual. You may experience some redness, but that’ll fade within a few hours. It’s also normal to encounter slight swelling and tenderness for a few days or weeks following the procedure—but these side effects are more than tolerable.
Though it usually takes one session to see the results, remember that the full effects will appear over two to three months. It happens in stages, too:
- Day one. You’ll experience a subtle lift and tone, giving your face a tighter, firmer feel and setting the stage for an anti-aging transformation.
- Day thirty. Your skin’s firmness will continue to improve, leading to a smoother, bouncier complexion.
- Day ninety and beyond. Your facial contours will have a greater definition, and the skin on your face, under your chin, and along your neck will show a noticeable, visible lift. Overall, you’ll have a refreshed, “open” look around the eyes and a more youthful appearance.
Your Ultherapy results can last up to a year, and you can always book a follow-up consultation with your practitioner to track your progress and, if needed, schedule another Ultherapy session.
Ultherapy® vs. Thermage® vs. Sofwave™
You might wonder how Ultherapy compares to its counterparts, Thermage® and Sofwave™. The three are all popular, effective non-invasive treatments that target signs of aging, but which one’s the best?
Ultherapy takes the trophy for us, and here’s how and why:
Sofwave is a treatment that delivers controlled heat at a specific depth—1.5 mm to be exact—in the skin using Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam Technology (SUPERB™). The controlled heat generated by SUPERB stimulates collagen production, leading to smoother-looking and feeling skin and fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Compared to Ultherapy, Sofwave solely targets the middle layers of the skin and doesn’t penetrate the deeper muscle layers responsible for lifting and firming.
Thermage uses radiofrequency energy, setting it apart from MFU-V energy in a treatment like Ulthera. While Thermage doesn’t dive as deeply into the skin as Ulthera, it does outdo Sofwave in terms of penetration. Essentially, Thermage strikes the balance between the deeper treatment of Ulthera, which targets up to 4.5 mm depth, and the gentler, more surface-level approach of Sofwave, which zeroes in on the 1.5 mm depth. It’s a great choice for those wanting firmer skin and smooth fine lines.
Ultherapy is the only treatment that uses ultrasound imaging to visualize the skin’s layers and accurately deliver MFU-V energy in the areas where they’d be most effective—the deeper layers and SMAS—to stimulate collagen production and give the best results. Because it penetrates the deepest, it’s the only treatment that achieves complete, non-invasive skin lifting and firming. Ultherapy also typically needs only one session to be effective, with the results gradually appearing over two to three months.
When we’re talking about depth and achieving the best, most potent skin-lifting and firming effects, here’s how Ultherapy’s technology compares to Sofwave, Thermage, and laser therapy.
While all three treatments effectively stimulate collagen production and deliver noticeable results, they have some key differences. Ultherapy, in particular, stands out for targeting the skin’s deeper layers and SMAS—along with ultrasound imaging for precise MFU-V energy delivery—for a significant skin lift and better firming. Ultherapy is an excellent choice for those who want the rejuvenating benefits of a facelift but prefer a less invasive yet still effective alternative for a refreshed and youthful look.
At Remedy, one Ulthera Pro session for the full face costs PHP 120,000. For our complete menu, you can reach us on our socials and contact numbers below.
Ultherapy is truly the gold standard and will continue to be for years to come. Compared to Sofwave and Thermage, Ultherapy is a completely unique procedure that uses ultrasound imaging to target the skin’s deeper layers, especially the SMAS, and delivers the best results for skin lifting and firming. You only need one session to see the effects, and when they start to appear, they’re as natural as they come. Now, with Ulthera Pro available at Remedy, you can experience all the benefits of Ultherapy with guidance from experienced practitioners and a proven, long-lasting treatment that helps you look and feel your best.
Curated treatments from the experts
When you’re ready to start your Remedy journey, reach us at +63 917 873 6339 or +63 2 7975 7984. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and our website. If you want more skin care knowledge from the experts, join Beyond the Cure Society to ask for advice, share your experiences, and get a chance to win our giveaways.
1 Fabi, S. G., & Goldman, M. P. (2014). Retrospective evaluation of micro-focused ultrasound for lifting and tightening the face and neck. Dermatologic Surgery, 40(5), 569-575. doi:10.1111/dsu.12464
2 Sasaki, G. H. (2015). The safety and efficacy of microfocused ultrasound in the non-surgical facelift. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 35(2), 190-198. doi:10.1093/asj/sju024
6 “Mechanism of Action - Collagen Stimulation - Ultherapy.” 2023. Ultherapy. February 23, 2023. https://ultherapy.com/physicians/optimized-neocollagenesis/.
7 Fabi, S. G., & Goldman, M. P. (2014). Retrospective evaluation of micro-focused ultrasound for lifting and tightening the face and neck. Dermatologic Surgery, 40(5), 569-575. doi:10.1111/dsu.12464
8 Sasaki, G. H. (2015). The safety and efficacy of microfocused ultrasound in the non-surgical facelift. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 35(2), 190-198. doi:10.1093/asj/sju024
11 Fabi, S. G., & Goldman, M. P. (2014). Retrospective evaluation of micro-focused ultrasound for lifting and tightening the face and neck. Dermatologic Surgery, 40(5), 569-575. doi:10.1111/dsu.12464
12 Sasaki, G. H. (2015). The safety and efficacy of microfocused ultrasound in the non-surgical facelift. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 35(2), 190-198. doi:10.1093/asj/sju024
14 Fabi, S. G., & Goldman, M. P. (2014). Retrospective evaluation of micro-focused ultrasound for lifting and tightening the face and neck. Dermatologic Surgery, 40(5), 569-575. doi:10.1111/dsu.12464
15 Gold, M. H., Biesman, B. S., & Taylor, M. (2020). Noninvasive skin tightening with Sofwave™: A preliminary study with a novel high‐intensity focused ultrasound device. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 19(5), 1205-1210. doi:10.1111/jocd.13438
17 Sasaki, G. H. (2015). The safety and efficacy of microfocused ultrasound in the non-surgical facelift. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 35(2), 190-198. doi:10.1093/asj/sju024
18 Alexiades, M. R., & Berube, D. (2019). Randomized, blinded, 3-arm clinical trial assessing optimal temperature and duration for treatment with minimally invasive fractional radiofrequency. Dermatologic Surgery, 45(9), 1101-1108. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001943
19 Sasaki, G. H. (2015). The safety and efficacy of microfocused ultrasound in the non-surgical facelift. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 35(2), 190-198. doi:10.1093/asj/sju024
20 Fabi, S. G., & Goldman, M. P. (2014). Retrospective evaluation of micro-focused ultrasound for lifting and tightening the face and neck. Dermatologic Surgery, 40(5), 569-575. doi:10.1111/dsu.12464