Review: Ultherapy. The alternative to surgical facelift

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sometime in November 2016, I was invited by LS Aesthetic Clinic to try out a new treatment of theirs -- Ultherapy: a non-surgical, non-invasive aesthetic treatment that uses ultrasound energy to lift and tighten skin, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, as well as stimulate the body's natural collagen production. My first thoughts were " ok, great, so someone realises that I am aging and am in dire need of help. Things are sagging and it is too obvious to ignore."

Growing up, I have never been too concerned about beauty. I never liked pink and hated frilly dresses. I gravitated towards mixing with the boys and even with female friends, we competed on who had shorter hair. Looking back, those were my benchmarks of beauty. So, to me, beauty wasn't on my priority list. Things were however hard for me, especially during my JC days when I had to deal with very bad acne which started sometime when I completed my O levels. Blame it on bad genes and a crazy mother who enjoys popping my pimples. It affected my self-esteem so much that would wallow in sadness at times. Comparisons got the better of me when I was surrounded by girls with flawless skin who were prowled upon by boys with chiselled faces. Following that, whilst I was dating, I was also subjected to ridicules by the bunch of friends my then boyfriend, now husband, was hanging out with. They were mean. So I was determined to change. However, no matter what facial I went to, it didn't reap much effects. Side effects yes, but not for the better. After marriage and kids, probably due to age, the acne situation got better. I did get occasional breakouts but they could be covered easily with concealer.  But something else changed. The wrinkles started appearing and I somehow felt gravity was being merciless on me. Becoming a mom changed my lifestyle on many fronts and one of them is beauty. I started to neglect myself as I tried to survive by the skin of my teeth each and every day. The clock will not stop ticking, and beauty is in your hands, so I jumped at this chance to try out this treatment which is probably the next best thing after plastic surgery or botox. 

How did the treatment go?

On that very day, their in-house medical director, Dr Allan Kok, an established aesthetic doctor in Singapore with more than 10 years of experience in various skin conditions, accessed my skin condition and confirmed that I am suitable for the therapy after a consultation. I was offered the lower face treatment. 

Oh no!! Wrinkles and saggy skin on the neck!

The nurses applied a topical numbing cream on my lower face and before the therapy, I was given painkillers. I initially didn't want to take them as I thought my threshold for pain should be pretty high given that I have gone through childbirth not once, but twice. BUT, I was thankful I took those painkillers! Before the treatment, Dr Kok explained to me that as the ultrasound energy is delivered, I will feel tiny amounts of energy being deposited to precise depths, indicating that the collagen-building process has been initiated. He informed that after the treatment I might have a bruised sensation for the next couple of days. Some people may even experience slight swelling for a week. All these were actually secondary. I was more concerned about the pain! He was candid about it and said that comfort level vary from person to person, but the sensation only lasts while the ultrasound energy is being delivered. Some may feel that it is an ant bite, whilst others may not. Well, nothing could be worse than giving birth right? 

Ultrasound imaging allows the doctor to see where the treatment energy will be delivered.
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Procedure closeup. Photo credit:

In all honesty, when the pulses were initiated on the bone area, it was painful. I wanted to bash someone up there and then. However, it was tolerable when it was initiated elsewhere. There were two stages. Dr Kok delivered the energy first at a deeper level -- 4.5mm where the muscle is situated and later at 3.0mm skin deep. This is below the epidermis and the dermis, where the fat and connective tissues are situated. Typically lasers and radio-frequency are only able to reach the dermis layer and to reach as deep as the muscle, the only other option is surgical facelift. Upon administering the second stage (3.0mm), probably due to the fact that I was already numbed, the sensation this time was really like a bunch of ants biting my chin. 

After the procedure, I could resume my normal activities immediately without having to follow any special post-treatment measures. In fact, right after my treatment, I dated the hubs. I told him I was going for a procedure similar to a facial and he was expecting to see a red-faced middle-aged woman. But, when he saw me, he was surprised and thought I did not go for any treatment. There were no redness or swelling immediately after the treatment. 

How Ultherapy treatment works?

Unlike lasers, radio-frequency and other technologies, Ultherapy bypasses the surface of the skin to deliver energy at optimal depths, temperature and precision. Also unique to Ultherapy is the use of ultrasound imaging, which allows practitioners to see the layers of tissue they are treating, ensuring energy is delivered safely and to where it will be most beneficial. 

While Ultherapy does not duplicate the results of a facelift, it's an exciting alternative for those who are not ready for surgery and for patients who wish to extend the effects of cosmetic surgery.

About Ultherapy

The Ultherapy treatment is the only non-invasive procedure U.S. FDA-cleared to lift skin not he neck, under the chin and on the eyebrow. Now, also the only non-invasive treatment to improve lines and wrinkles on the décolleté. Ultherapy can help you achieve a fresher, more youthful look from your brow to your chest! It is:

  • Non-invasive
  • No downtime
  • Builds collagen
  • Natural results
  • Single treatment
  • Safe ultrasound

Ultherapy delivers focused ultrasound energy to the same foundational layer typically addressed by surgeons during cosmetic surgery -- without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin.

This energy initiates the body's natural response to stimulate the growth of fresh , new collagen and strengthen weak collagen. COLLAGEN! That's what every woman needs!

Some patients see an initial effect right after their treatment, but the real results appear over 2-3months as new collagen builds, gradually lifting and tightening skin.

Below are some photos I have taken since day one till now. The top left hand photo being the before-treatment photo and the bottom right photo being the most recent shot taken during Chinese New Year. I do find that the V shape face is slowly surfacing. I have naturally broad jaws and unless I break those bones or go for plastic surgery, I'm probably not gonna change much of that. However, seeing the V shape coming out is really encouraging! The skin does feel a tad tighter too even though I neglected my skin badly due to the clash with dengue. You can read it here. I was rather surprised that the skin texture is improving too despite abandoning my usual beauty regime during that one month. Even though only my lower face was treated, it feels like the collagen regeneration is spreading to my cheeks. It looks plumper. Only a single treatment is required as the collagen regeneration will continue throughout the year. Patients would usually go back yearly for followups. This is indeed an alternative to botox which I am too chicken to try.

Me thinks I am looking younger, don't you?

This was taken a few days after the treatment and I did notice a very slight swelling on one side of my face. The bashed up / muscle ache feeling on my jaws lasted for approximately 4 days.

If you think my results are too subtle (coz in the first place perhaps I don't have much sagging to begin with *denial mode), check out the below shots:

Photo credits:
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This new treatment has also been creating a huge buzz in the States. Hollywood stars like Real Housewife Adriana De Moura has also opted Ultherapy as a more moderate yet effective approach. 

"A more moderate approach taken by Reality Housewife Adriana De to undergo anti-aging procedures like Ultherapy, what some call 'Spanx for skin'"

Indeed, beauty is a pain in all aspects. However, no pain no gain right? The pain shall pass, but the beauty will remain :)

Prices range from $260 for an Ultherapy underage treatment to $3950 (before GST) for a Full Face and neck treatment. A steal compared to plastic surgery!
Ls Aesthetic Clinic is conveniently located at Wisma Atria Office tower. Book your appointment with them today!

Details as follows: 
435 Orchard Road #10-04
Wisma Atria Office Tower
Singapore 238877
Tel: +65 67384700

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary Lower Face Ultherapy treatment for the purpose of this review. No additional monetary compensation was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/ services.