What is HIFU?

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive medical procedure that is increasingly being used in aesthetic medicine for skin tightening and facial rejuvenation. The procedure works by using high-frequency sound waves to heat the deeper layers of skin and cause collagen production, resulting in a more youthful and tightened appearance. It is sometime called the ‘Lunchtime Face Lift’ as the treatment is quick, very tolerable and has no downtime.

One of the key advantages of HIFU in aesthetic medicine is that it is minimally invasive, meaning that there are no incisions or surgeries required. The procedure is performed through the skin, resulting in little to no downtime or recovery time for patients. This makes HIFU an attractive option for those who are looking to improve their appearance without undergoing major procedures.

HIFU can be used to target specific areas of the face, such as the neck, jowls, and brow, to tighten sagging skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used to enhance the appearance of the cheeks and jawline, giving patients a more defined and youthful look.

In addition to its skin tightening benefits, HIFU has also been shown to promote collagen production, which can result in a more youthful and glowing appearance. Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced by the body and is responsible for giving skin its elasticity and firmness. As we age, collagen production decreases, leading to the development of wrinkles and sagging skin. HIFU can help to reverse this process by stimulating the production of new collagen and elastin fibers.

The treatment tends to work best on people older than 30 with moderate skin laxity. The treatment is unlikely to be effective if your skin has become very lax or “saggy”, though your clinician can give you advice on whether you fall into this category. HIFU is not suitable for people with lesions or severe damage to the treatment area, metallic implants, or severe acne.

How can HIFU be used for facial treatments?

HIFU treatment for the face works as a non-invasive facelift. It lifts and tightens the skin, irons out wrinkles and fine lines, shrinks pores, targets the ‘V’ line formation and jowl lines. HIFU improves overall skin tone, pores, brightness and elasticity.

It can be used to target specific areas of the face, such as the neck, jawline, and brow, to enhance the overall appearance of the face and create a more youthful look. Additionally, HIFU treatments may be a suitable option for those who want to improve their appearance without undergoing major procedures or incisions.

This SMAS layer is the actual area a plastic surgeon would pull and tighten under a surgical operation using a knife. HIFU targets this layer without any surgical incisions, giving the patient a no-downtime facelift. Which means you can gain excellent results without any risks associated with surgery, such as infection, scarring, swelling etc. Treatments are fast and results can be seen immediately for some patients, depending on the level of laxity your skin has.

Who uses HIFU in their clinic?

HIFU is a favourite technology of top aesthetic doctors due to its fast and long lasting results which improve over time. Its speed and non-invasive nature make it a perfect device to treat high volumes of patients and provide the same results as invasive facelifts, but without the painful incisions.

HIFU treatment is known as the ‘lunch time face lift’ as it’s quick and you can return to work and continue with your day. Some people may have some mild redness and maybe light bruising the next day.

Watch the video below in which Dr Meriem Martins of the renowned sk:n clinics in London explains why she loves to use HIFU on her patients.

Can HIFU be used for body sculpting, weight loss, or inch loss?

HIFU is ideal for body contouring post pregnancy tummy, abdomen fat, bingo wings, thighs and under the buttocks for a non-surgical bum lifting effect. It can even tighten the skin on the knees and arms, helping to improve the ‘crepey’ look. HIFU is a very effective treatment for both inch loss and fat loss – at the same time tightening the skin!

Do HIFU treatments hurt?

HIFU can be uncomfortable for patients but is tolerated by most. It requires no anesthetic or numbing.

Some devices deliver less pain than others. The Ultraformer III HIFU machine offers faster shot speeds and shorter intervals between each shot, this means it’s very comfortable for the patient, in fact far more comfortable and less painful than many other HIFU treatments on the market. Some people describe it as feeling like tiny electric pulses, or a prickly sensation. It’s not pain free but it’s completely tolerable and it may feel different on different areas of your face or body.

HIFU is also an alternative to a surgical facelift or liposuction, which is likely to hurt far more and require recovery time. Comparatively, HIFU is the much less painful and invasive option.

ultraformer product photo

Are you a practitioner interested in providing HIFU treatments? Find which HIFU machine would work best for your clinic’s needs:

What do HIFU results look like?

See for yourself!

Here are three examples of pictures taken before and after a HIFU treatment. Bear in mind that these are results shown immediately after the treatment finished and HIFU results continuously improve over the following three to six months, meaning these improvements are just the beginning.

Skin is tightened, wrinkles smoothed, and sagging jowls or hanging skin are pulled back into place.

Each of these patients was treated with an Ultraformer III HIFU device.

Before HIFUBefore HIFU
Before HIFUBefore HIFU
Before HIFUBefore HIFU

Where can I get HIFU treatments?

It is absolutely essential that you visit a licenced and professional clinic for HIFU treatments, as it could carry risks if not performed properly. If the treatment cost seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Never purchase a “home use” HIFU device as these are guaranteed to deliver no results and may cause dangerous side effects.

As well as a reputable practitioner, you should check whether they are using a reputable device. We would suggest looking for a clinic that provides treatments with an Ultraformer III. This is the market-leading HIFU device which provides safe treatments with fantastic results. Anecdotally, patients report that it is also less painful than many competing devices.

Check our clinic finder on our contact page to find your nearest HIFU clinic

How much does a HIFU treatment typically cost?

HIFU treatments tend to cost around £50-£300 depending on the length of treatment session, quality of device being used, and location of the clinic.