THE ULTRASOUND BEAUTY SECRET
ARE HIGH-FREQUENCY WAVES THE TRICK TO A YOUNGER FACE, SHINY HAIR, AND A BETTER BODY?
Emily Dudding investigates.
For a (far) more extreme version of the sonic facial, there’s Ultherapy® (price: $2,000- $6,000). The in-office treatment uses focused ultrasound waves to heat deep layers of skin tissue, stimulating collagen production while bypassing the skin’s surface. The result is a subtle but visible tightening (no one would mistake it for a surgical face-lift) with no downtime. (Yes, there was a bit of redness for a few hours, but nothing I couldn’t pass off as a post-workout glow.)
The procedure, which allows a doctor to look at the target area on a screen while aiming the waves, was cleared by the FDA for lifting the brow area in 2009, and recently got the go-ahead for the neck and chin.
“It is the best non-invasive tightening device available,”
says dermatologist Fredric Brandt, a pioneer in the field. Because it takes time for new collagen to develop, results can take two to three months to see.
Robert Anolik, a dermatologist who uses Ultherapy® at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, recommends it for women with mild-to-moderate skin laxity. “It can put off the need for surgery or even eradicate it in some cases,” Anolik says.
A word of warning: Even with a mega-numbing cream and hospital-grade painkillers, the procedure isn’t for the faint of heart. The sensation as the hand piece moved over my face was, frankly, way beyond mere pinpricks. Nevertheless, the results were terrific, and, as in childbirth, the pain is quickly forgotten in the afterglow.
*This is an excerpt from a feature article in the November 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Mentions of indications not currently approved as part of the Ultherapy® treatment have been removed. The view of the author and statements from the physicians quoted are that of each individual. Refer to the Ulthera® System Indications for Use for the FDA-cleared indications at Ultherapy.com®/IFU.