What is it?

HIFU (also known as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a technique of skin tightening and lifting using focused ultrasound pulses that penetrate deep into the dermal layer of the skin.  These high energy pulses cause a tightening of existing collagen bundles and also stimulate new collagen formation.  This treatment is commonly known as a non-surgical facelift.


HIFU is a new-generation skin tightening treatment that is rapidly gaining in popularity as it is non-invasive and there is no downtime.  HIFU is based on the same technology as Ulthera (Ultherapy) which is considered the gold standard in skin tightening treatments on the face and neck and is a favourite of Hollywood celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Madonna, and Kim Kardashian.  The new-generation HIFU is much less painful and less expensive than previous treatments with the same technology.

What conditions is it used for?

HIFU is ideal for those who have sagging skin but don’t want to go under the knife, or who want to delay having a face lift for a few years.  Although unable to give the same results as a face lift, many people opt for a HIFU treatment rather than have a face lift.

HIFU is used to treat:

  • Jowls
  • Sagging jawline
  • Wrinkled and crepey necks
  • Sleep lines and thin skin on the decolletage
  • Lines around the eyes
  • Lines around the mouth
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Sagging skin in other parts of the body can also be treated, eg inner arms, inner thighs, above the knees, and abdomens.

All skin types can be safely treated.  A HIFU treatment will not prevent you from having a facelift at a later stage

What does a treatment entail?

The treatment area will be cleansed, examined, documented, and photographed.  A topical anaesthetic is applied for approximately 45 minutes, and then removed.  A thin layer of gel is applied to the treatment area and the HIFU handpiece is applied to the skin where it releases a burst of pulses that penetrate 4,5 mm down to the dermal layer of your skin.  The entire area is treated in a systemic manner, and then re-treated at a more superficial depth.  Afterwards, a soothing lotion will be applied.

Is there pain and downtime?

The treatment may be mildly uncomfortable in certain areas.  It will feel like a dull needle prick deep in the skin but only lasts for a second and then disappears.

There is absolutely no down time with a HIFU treatment.  Afterwards, you may have mild redness which settles quickly and minimal swelling for a day or two, but it will not be noticeable to others.  Very rare side effects that have been documented include bruising, formation of a small welt, and temporary nerve damage.  We have never seen any of these in our practice.

When can I expect to see results?

The micro injuries caused by a HIFU treatment deep in your dermal layer will heal with new collagen formation.  Collagen fibers takes about 30 days to form and then gradually re-organise over a few months, causing tightening and lifting in the area. You can expect to see results in 4-6 months, which may improve for up to a year after treatment.

How many treatments do I need and how often?

Results from a treatment usually last for 2-3 years but this is obviously influenced by your individual genetic aging process and environmental factors which accelerate collagen break down, such as smoking, diet, and sun exposure.

Some patients like the results so much that they do a treatment once a year.  Others return for smaller, top up treatments every 6-12 months.

Recommended Supplements:

Taking an oral collagen supplement, eg  Collagen Pro-Active may help you get better results.

Your treating practitioner is able to advise on optimal skin care.

Non-surgical skin tightening

Known as the Non-Surgical Facelift

Tightens jowls and jawlines

Tightens skin on neck

Improves condition of decolletage

Tightens skin on body

Arms, inner thighs, abdomen, knees

Stimulates intense collagen formation

Improves skin condition

No downtime

Before and After

Before and After


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Hyde Park

Tel:  011 788 7910

Email: info@aestheticson5th.co.za