Non-surgical ultrasound to tighten, firm and lift the face and neck.
What is HIFU?
HIFU is a non-surgical face and neck treatment that uses ultrasound to lift and tone loose skin. The ultrasound energy targets collagen located in the deep layers of the skin, strengthening existing collagen and promoting your body to produce new collagen. This results in tighter, firmer skin and softened fine lines over the treated areas. HIFU is a popular treatment because it can penetrate deep layers of the skin without causing any harm to the epidermis.
How does it work?
HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). The treatment targets collagen in the dermis and superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS). The dermis is located beneath the epidermis and is the thickest of the three layers of the skin (1.5 to 4mm thick). It makes up approximately 90 percent of the thickness of the skin and contains much of the body's water supply. It is held together by collagen, a tough connective protein that supports the epidermis and provides our skin with strength and resiliency. The SMAS lies under the dermis; it is one continuous fibrous network that connects the dermis to underlying facial muscles. It consists of a three-dimensional scaffold of collagen, elastic and fat.
At a depth of 3mm, the ultrasound penetrates the dermis to reach the skin’s collagen supply. Here, it stimulates existing collagen and promotes the growth of new collagen. This is important because collagen is the supporting structure that anchors cells to one another. Collagen is what gives our skin strength, suppleness and elasticity. As collagen production declines (in our 20s), the skin becomes lax and lines and wrinkles form. This treatment slows that process.
At a depth of 4.5mm, the ultrasound energy reaches the SMAS and heats it to 60° to 70°C, the optimum temperature range for collagen synthesis. This is the same area that plastic surgeons target during surgical facelifts because it provides longer-lasting results than a facelift of the skin alone. As the ultrasound penetrates collagen in the SMAS, it causes a lifting effect of the face and neck.
As a result of the high amount of heat energy, HIFU can also reduce fat under the skin, making it particularly useful to reduce double chins and hanging jowls.
HIFU penetrates the deep layers of the skin while leaving the epidermis completely unharmed. It works sub-dermally (under the skin) so there is no resulting downtime or disruption to your social schedule.
What areas of the face that can be tightened?
HIFU works on the face as well as the neck. It can tighten and lift areas around and above the eyebrows, cheeks, lower jaw/jowls, chin, neck and décolletage.
What is the difference between Ultherapy® and HIFU?
Ultherapy is a registered trademark for a brand of HIFU produced by Merz Aesthetics. It is a non-invasive skin tightening procedure that is US FDA-cleared to lift skin on the neck, above the eyebrows and under the chin as well as improve lines and wrinkles on the décolletage. IYAC also uses another brand of HIFU, marketed as Ultra Skin, that is approved by the Health Sciences Authority, the national governing body that regulates health products and services in Singapore. Studies have shown that both are effective, though Ultra Skin offers less discomfort at a lower price.
There are many brands of HIFU on the market – Ultraformer and Doublo-S to name a few – each with varying safety records, effectiveness and countries of origin. Ultherapy is a German-made product, while Ultraformer and Doublo-S are Korean-made products. Some clinics market “first generation” or “second generation” devices, but these terms are purely marketing speech as they have no legal or medical meaning. Consistent with IYAC’s conservative and safe approach, we only offer trusted therapies with a long-standing record of safety.
Does HIFU have other medical uses?
Yes. HIFU is widely used in the medical community to treat a number of problems, such as uterine fibroids, glaucoma, neurological tremors and even breast, prostrate and bone cancers. Cosmetic aesthetics is one of many medical specialties that have found the treatment to be effective and useful.
How is HIFU different from lasers?
Lasers rely on light energy, which penetrates to a depth of 1.5 millimeters and address issues in the superficial layers of the skin (e.g. fine lines, wrinkles, acne, pigmentation). HIFU uses ultrasound, or sound energy, to penetrate to a depth of 4.5 millimeters. It bypasses the surface of the skin to reach depths not matched by other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Because the two treatments work on different levels on the face, they can be combined together and used to complement one another.
Can HIFU replace a facelift?
HIFU is an "uplift" not a "facelift." It can tighten mild to moderate laxity and is best performed on someone who is experiencing early-stage skin sagging. While it is not a replacement for surgery, it is an alternative for those who are not ready or who do not desire surgery for mental, financial or logistical reasons.
How do I know if HIFU is right for me?
HIFU is safe for all skin colors because it does not target the skin’s surface. Good candidates have mild to moderate skin laxity where the skin is beginning to look and feel looser e.g. the jawline is starting to sag, jowls are appearing, skin on the neck is getting looser or one or both eyebrows are beginning to droop. Mild skin laxity typically starts when people reach their 30s.
What kind of results can I expect?
By reconditioning and renewing the skin from within, HIFU will lift the brows and cheeks, open up the eyes, tighten the jawline and provide a more refreshed look overall. Clients report firmer skin in other areas of the face and neck as well.
What happens during a treatment?
The skin is thoroughly cleansed, and anaesthesia cream is applied. The ultrasound applicator is applied to pre-marked areas of the face and neck. At the treatment’s conclusion, a Gentlewaves LED treatment is provided to improve the healing process.
How long does each treatment last?
A full face and neck treatment takes 45-60 minutes, and a partial face treatment is around 30 minutes.
Is it painful?
Although pain thresholds vary for from to person, expect to feel tolerable discomfort (akin to electrical tingling) while the energy is being delivered. This is temporary and well managed with topical anaesthesia. HIFU is reported by most patients to be more comfortable than Ultherapy r est assured that the IYAC team is committed to providing you with an experience that is as pleasant and as comfortable as possible.
Are there any side effects? What can I expect after a treatment?
There are rarely any visible side effects beyond mild to moderate redness, which usually fade within an hour. Since there is no wound or injury to the skin, makeup can be applied straight away. Clients can immediately resume their regular daily activities. No specific care is needed after treatment, although you may be asked to avoid sun and some skin products for a period of time.
After your treatment, you may see some initial effect, however results are most visible two to three months later after the collagen has had time to rebuild and regenerate itself. As the collagen-building process continues, further improvements appear up to six months following a single treatment. Since the procedure stimulates your own collagen production, how long the effect lasts depends on you and the rate at which your body produces and maintains collagen.
How do I prepare my skin for a treatment?
Avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before the treatment. Avoid the use of Retin-A or other irritating skin products for three days prior to the treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
Most individuals only need one treatment. Depending on the degree of skin laxity, your body’s response to ultrasound energy and the skin’s ability to rebuild and maintain collagen, some may benefit from two or more initial treatments. Thereafter, the treatment can be repeated every six months for optimum results.
Price of HIFU
Varies by treated area; from $800 for a brow lift, $1,700 for cheeks and $3,200 for full face and neck. Inquire about other treatment areas and costs. Prices subject to 7% GST.
Interested to find out more?
Email or call us at 6738 9989 for an appointment now.