HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound)

HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound)

Area Face
Age range > 40s
Method Skin Tightening
Downtime None / Very little
Approval Ulthera/Ultherapy HIFU treatment is FDA approved
Price range Eur500-Eur5000 depending on type and number of treatments

HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) Treatment PROVIDERS NEAR YOU

HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) Treatment

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)


HIFU is a relatively new method of facial rejuvenation that aims to lift and tighten skin for a non-surgical face lift and neck lift.  HIFU is non-surgical in that it involves no needles or knives and is said to have little or no downtime. Non-invasive ultrasound energy generates low levels of heat in the targeted skin. This stimulates the cells for collagen production and tissue rejuvenation. Results are generally seen between 60-90 days after treatment.

Areas to treat are:

  • Drooping skin especially around the mouth
  • Brows and forehead
  • Chin
  • Jawline (jowls)
  • Neck (“turkey neck”)


There are a number of HIFU treatments available on the market. Ulthera (Ultherapy), which was released in 2012 and has been growing in popularity since, is FDA approved in the US as a skin tightening procedure. With Ultherapy there is usually just one procedure.

Ultrasound gel will be applied to cleansed skin. The hand piece from the HIFU device will then be used to deliver ultrasound energy beneath the skin. Some people report feeling the energy at this point, which can be quite hot and "prickly" but not unbearably painful.  Each treatment usually takes between 60-90 minutes, but may be performed in as little as 30 minutes.

If you don’t think you need facelift surgery yet or just hate the thought of "going under the knife", HIFU may be the natural facelift or neck lift alternative for you.

The main goal with HIFU is to get mature skin working hard again. Those who have seen great benefits from the treatment boast a tightened, lifted jawline; lifted, firmer cheeks; smoother, firmer, and brighter skin in the months after the procedure.  Eyes can appear more open, brows lifted, fine lines and pores reduced. Because of renewed elasticity levels, skin can feel softer and more supple. Therefore the overall effect can be a more youthful appearance.


The key thing to remember about a HIFU treatment is that focused ultrasound cannot lift the face and neck like a surgical facelift and therefore a huge factor will be the person's expectations. A comprehensive surgical lower face and neck lift accomplishes tightening loose facial neck muscles, tightening loose facial and neck skin, removal of fat deposits in the neck along, and lifting the jowls. Procedures that help to tighten skin and soft tissues of the face can make a difference. but the results will be modest compared to surgery. HIFU works best for people with mild to moderate sagging or loosening skin. If you have mildly ageing skin and drooping soft tissues and are looking for results with a low downtime it may be the right thing for you. 

NOTE: HIFU facial anti-ageing treatments are not without their controversy. There have been a number of cases where people have reported quite severe side effects. We can't comment on the validity of these claims but, particularly with a treatment where the energy goes deep into the skin, it is not a treatment to take lightly. Make sure to consult with a qualified physician.

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