High intensity focus ultrasound (HIFU) is an all-new beauty treatment which is being hailed as a revolutionary alternative to a cosmetic face-lift. But can a non-invasive treatment with absolutely no downtime deliver on its promises? With our fingers and toes crossed we headed to Finishing Touch Clinic, the only salon in the North of England to offer HIFU, to see if you really can turn the clock back.
Having done some background research, I knew a little, but not a lot about the benefits of ultrasound and HIFU in particular. The only thing I knew for sure was that the treatment lasts at least three hours. Surely not a sacrifice when the results promise to take years (four to eight) off your face.
As with many treatments, the technical stuff can sound a bit complicated, but bear with me here as in reality HIFU is fairly straightforward and the results speak for themselves. The uber-clever machine delivers ultrasound energy deep into the facial tissues and muscles (the SMAS layer) which is the same layer tightened during a conventional face lift. It is in these deep dermal and sub dermal layers where the targeted ultrasound energy results in micro trauma and as the tissue heals it contracts, tightens and stimulates new collagen production. Collagen is what keeps your skin youthful. It’s the substructure (think of it as scaffolding) upon which skin relies, but sadly collagen production naturally slows with age, hence the appearance of wrinkles, jowls, eye bags and less elasticity in the skin – all the typical signs of ageing. To stimulate new collagen has, until now, been seen as very difficult. Following a HIFU treatment, as the collagen fibres recover, they shorten resulting in a magical tightening effect on the skin. It’s that simple.
The procedure begins with my lovely therapist drawing guidelines on my face, delineating the areas she needed to target which basically included forehead frown lines, crows feet, jowls, cheeks and chin. A handheld ’wand’ is then painstakingly moved repeatedly across those areas, forehead and eye area first, followed by the cheeks, jowl and chin, and lastly the neck. The treatment is finished off with an even more precise delivery to the brow and under eye area. This is the only part of the whole session which is slightly uncomfortable but not enough to be an issue and certainly, if the promises are true, more than worth putting up with.
It’s been three hours (and a bit) and I am intrigued to see what difference there may be. Always cynical, I am never a believer until I’ve really tried something for myself. You hear the hype, but can it be that good. It really is.
There is a visible lift. And I mean a visible lift. (Un-filtered, un-photoshopped before and after pics are placed in front of me me for approval). Even my very unobservant family felt moved to comment when I got home. My skin also feels tighter – like it’s suddenly stuck to my cheekbones again. The best news is that whilst there has already been an improvement, the treatment keeps on working and the best results are yet to come (after 12 weeks). The effects last a year and there is no need for more than one treatment per year.
That sisters, is the holy grail of anti-ageing.
HIFU (£1,000 for full face and neck. Three hours.)
For a limited period Living North Readers also receive an exclusive skin regenerative package worth over £250.
Finishing Touch Clinic, Consett