If you've been scrolling the beauty blogs, you may have come across the term 'lunchtime facelift.' No, they aren't talking about a new-fangled food-related facelift. They're talking about HIFU facials, or high intensity focused ultrasound facials. If you're someone who's intimidated by these very science-y, technical-sounding terms, and are apprehensive about trying anything remotely in that realm, we've got you covered. Ahead, we're letting you in on everything you need to know about HIFU facials — don't blame us if you want to try one for yourself though!
First off, high intensity focused ultrasound facials are a relatively new cosmetic treatment. Considered as a non-invasive procedure for skin tightening, if you've ever been worried about painful facelifts — HIFU facials may be for you. Basically, the treatment uses ultrasound energy to encourage collagen production and is ideal for anti-ageing procedures. If you really want to understand it in-depth, a HIFU facial uses ultrasound energy to create heat at a deep level in the skin.
The heat damages targeted skin cells, and the body immediately goes into repair mode, by producing more collagen to help cellular growth. Also, it's different from other ultrasound procedures that doctors use for medical imaging — HIFU facials use high-energy waves to target specific areas of the body. And yes, that sounds great in an abstract sense. But here's how a HIFU facial actually promises to benefit your skin.
- 01. It Tightens The Skin In Certain Areas
- 02. It Makes Skin Elastic
- 03. It Smooths Wrinkles
- 01. The Age Factor
- 02. Skin Deep
- 03. Pre-Existing Conditions Are A No-No
01. It Tightens The Skin In Certain Areas
Remember our good old friend collagen? Its production essentially helps with all the goodness that comes with HIFU facials. A protein that provides structure to the skin, increasing collagen helps tighten and firm the skin with no side effects since it's all done through natural processes. You can target the areas that need tightening, and let the HIFU facial do its magic.
02. It Makes Skin Elastic
Different studies have shown that increased collagen production improves skin elasticity and firmness significantly. So if you're being bogged down by skin that's not supple and elastic, you can be assured that a HIFU facial will fix it.
03. It Smooths Wrinkles
Wrinkles, too, are nullified when it comes to HIFU facials. By smoothening the skin to give it a youthful, firmer appearance, all signs of wrinkles disappear without a trace when you opt for this treatment.
So now that you've got the lowdown, here's a natural question that most of us tend to have whenever we opt for a new treatment — is it worth it? Well, according to multiple studies, yes. Other studies, such as a 2017 study involving Koreans, showed that HIFU significantly improved skin elasticity of the cheeks, lower abdomen, and thighs after 12 weeks. With that being said, there are a few people who may benefit from high intensity focused ultrasound facials over others.
Wondering if you made the cut? Here's how you can tell if this is the right facial treatment for you, or if it's time to give this one a hard pass.
01. The Age Factor
If you're twenty-something and already want to get a HIFU facial, stop! Generally, the procedure works best on people who are older than 30 and have mild-to-moderate skin laxity. If you're younger than 30, chances are, your skin is already pretty youthful — and you don't need a facelift just yet, girl! Save all that money, and maybe think about it when you're older. (Or spend it all on tacos. Who are we to judge?) However, if you're over 30 and worried about the appearance of signs of ageing — go forth and check out the treatment.
02. Skin Deep
If you're someone with photo-damaged skin or have a high degree of loose skin, you may need to consult a dermatologist before getting the procedure done. Even though it's non-invasive and won't really harm you, it's still a good rule of thumb to consult a professional. This also extends if you've got sensitive skin, BTW! If your skin's completely normal, though, and just a bit lose and saggy, there's no harm in trying a high intensity focused ultrasound facial. But if you're older and have extensive photo-ageing, severe skin laxity, or very saggy skin on the neck, this probably isn't the treatment for you.
03. Pre-Existing Conditions Are A No-No
It's usually not a great idea to get skin treatments when you've got a pre-existing infection. If your skin's clear and you've got no infections, consider it a green light. But if you have infections and open skin lesions at the target area, severe or cystic acne, and metallic implants in the treatment area, HIFU facials are not recommended at all.
And that's about it! The good news is that high intensity focused ultrasound facials are non-invasive and are usually cheaper than a facelift — making them safer, and more affordable too. Also, you'll probably start seeing results in three months after 2-6 sittings, but apart from the minor inconvenience, it's an effective procedure to try.
However, keep in mind that it's not some miracle cure that'll make the process of ageing go away altogether. The procedure is best suited for patients with mild-to-moderate skin laxity, and you may need to have the procedure repeated in one to two years since mother nature is definitely not going to slow down for you.
01. Is a HIFU facial better than a facelift?
The benefits of a HIFU facial over a facelift are hard to deny. While a facelift is definitely more long-lasting, a HIFU facial has no incisions, no scarring, and no required rest or recovery time. (That's why it's called the lunchtime facial!) Plus HIFU facials are far less expensive than facelifts. So, if you're looking for a quick, painless, non-invasive, and relatively cheaper alternative to a facelift, HIFU facials are it!
02. What are the side effects of HIFU facials?
So, the good news is that HIFU facials are considered very safe when performed by trained professionals. You're also able to resume normal activities almost immediately after leaving the provider's office, so there's that to look forward to as well. You might experience slight redness or swelling, but it will subside quickly, and a light, tingling sensation in the treated area may persist — but it's nothing to worry about. Numbing or bruising is rare, but if it happens, it's temporary. On the whole, you've got nothing to worry about!
Written by Nishtha Bhalla on Aug 02, 2021
Nishtha is a freelance writer who loves all things beauty, fashion, culture, and lifestyle. With content covering a variety of topics, she brings a holistic, nuanced perspective to her writing. In her free time, she can be found watching reruns of The Office, reading anything she can get her hands on, and experimenting with astrology.