Ulthera – can skin tightening work?

Who wouldn’t want a low-fuss way of sharpening the features and pulling back those jowels? There are several treatments on the market for a drastic face-lift, ultherapy being one of them. Our Jennifer put Ultherapy under the lens for a closer look.


A bit of background

Pressure of work and looking good can take its toll on your skin. In the 1960s at age 55, my grandmother, who worked for the BBC as a top producer, took a four-week vacation and returned looking wonderfully refreshed. It wasn’t until a few years later that I found out her secret – instead of the holiday giving her a natural boost, she’d had a surgical facelift. She continued to look great and had a long and happy career, and even when she passed away in her eighties she had the look and confidence of someone many years younger, the only tell-tale signs being two small scars by her ears (and she fixed that by having a special set of earrings designed).

Years later she told me she felt it was worthwhile, giving her a boost of confidence in what was then a very male orientated world. For her it was more about her job and how people perceived her – not about how she felt she needed to look.

So now here I am in my fifties, peering into the mirror and wondering: could I be as brave? Surgery is so very drastic, but with all the new alternatives around, it doesn’t have to be invasive, Ulthera might just be the thing.

What is Ultherapy?

This treatment uses focused ultrasound applied to the skin. There are two types of untrasound, known as focused and unfocused. Non-focused ultrasound is used in physiotherapy where it gently warms the skin, but focused ultrasound delivers bursts of intense heat to stimulate collagen to reform under the skin. A laser-like devise penetrates specific depths of skin to effectively create small wounds to the deeper layers, which encourages regrowth of collagen to repair it (plumping it up again) and leaving the surface of the skin untouched. Most aesthetic companies suggest one treatment every 12 months, but some suggest up to three – that’s a lot! I guess it depends on how saggy your face is.

There are a number of brands out there, but apparently only one Ultherapy, so you need to understand that the correct machine is being used and that it was manufactored in the USA, and has the correct approval ratings. Ulthera Machines from the USA cost around US$70,000+

Here is video of the technique by a doctor in USA

So bearing in mind a business using one of these machines will want to pay for it quickly before newer technology hits the market, it is no surprise that a treatment costs between S$3-6K. Generally the cost is calculated on the amount of shots you have, so that is possibly another question when asking about the cost: how many shots will your treatment include? It might explain the wide-ranging quotes we gathered. However the question was posed and most said the charge was per area, or invited us to come in and discuss things with a doctor.

What are the costs? 

Following some research on Ulthera therapy providers in Singapore, in which we questioned the age of the machine being used, here are the costings for a full face and upper neck/ jawline using a USA Ulthera machine:

How does it feel and does it work?

Most people describe the treatment as uncomfortable, however they generally have numbing cream applied beforehand. A day later they feel below the skin brusing. Some say it diminshes the fat in your skin which can be a negative. However some say it did improve their appearance, so it’s certainly worth taking a look across websites reviewing Ulthera results. From the reviews that I have read, it is important to use someone that has been comprehensively trained in how the machine works. My preference would be a doctor that specialises in aesthetics.

I never did give it a go myself. If you want to try your luck at a skin treatment in Singapore, CLICK HERE to find full listings.