Ultherapy (MFU) vs High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) explained.

Treatments like Ultherapy and the HIFU (Ultraformer 3) treatment are popular choices to help tighten and lift our skin, but not many know the difference between these two procedures.
ultherapy machine
ultraformer III machine

Ultherapy vs. HIFU for Non-surgical Facelifts

Even with an intensive skincare regimen, we can’t stop saggy skin and deep wrinkles—such skin concerns only get worse with age. Since we all want to look youthful, many of us turn to non-invasive, non-surgical facelifts to help slow down the ageing process.

Treatments like Ultherapy and the HIFU treatment are popular choices to help tighten and lift our skin, but not many know the difference between these two procedures. Their main similarity? They both help us age gracefully, keeping our skin smooth and supple as if we’ve just drank from the fountain of youth.

Before deciding between Ultherapy or HIFU, it’s important to know the differences between these two treatments.


What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy, also known as Micro-Focused Ultrasound (MFU), is an anti-ageing treatment that’ll give your body’s collagen production a boost. As the entire treatment takes roughly an hour, many find it as a convenient option that offers effective skin-tightening and lifting results. It’s also FDA approved, adding to its popularity.

How does Ultherapy Work?

But how does Ultherapy work? Simply put, it’s through micro-focused ultrasound energy waves. There’s no need to get too technical, besides understanding that these ultrasound waves target deep into your skin to help stimulate collagen regeneration. It’s also beneficial in kickstarting the renewal of elastic tissue, for firmer skin and greater elasticity.

Ultherapy is considered as a low-pain treatment but there will still be a topical numbing cream applied to the targeted area. Once the treatment starts, you might experience a warm sensation due to the ultrasound waves stimulating your skin. Depending on your targeted areas, treatment can take roughly 1 to 2 hours.

What Areas Are Best To Treat With Ultherapy?

The neck, chin, and jawline are particularly prone to loose and saggy skin, and Ultherapy has been proven to be especially beneficial to help give these problematic areas an effective pick-me-up. Some might also consider Ultherapy for around their brow or decolletage area, if they’re looking to smoothen fine wrinkles and loose skin.

What Are The Results Of Ultherapy?

There’s no need to worry about your skin looking overly taut and stretched since Ultherapy is known for its natural-looking results. You may start noticing results just after 2 months but since the treatment is for collagen reproduction, your skin’s improvement will be more visible within 3 to 6 months.

Maintenance every other year or every 2 years is recommended for upkeep. As this is a non-invasive treatment, there is also typically no downtime associated with Ultherapy, so you can jump back into your regular routine once the treatment is done.

Ultraformer III

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

What Is HIFU?

In using High Intensity Focused UItrasound (HIFU) technology, treatments like Ultraformer 3 and Sygmalift are popular choices considered by many since they’re non-invasive alternatives to a surgical facelift.

In particular, Ultraformer 3 helps maintain a youthful appearance: firm skin, smoothening of wrinkles, and an “uplifted” facial expression. While not approved by the FDA, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Ultraformer 3 is any more risky or unsound when compared to Ultherapy.

As it was developed in South Korea, it is predominantly used in Asia, and has been approved by Singapore’s HSA along with multiple other countries’ health regulatory bodies.

How Does HIFU Work?

In directly targeting problem areas, Ultraformer 3 precisely releases ultrasound energy into the deep layers of your skin. Each session takes around 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the treatment area. Through this ultrasound energy, your skin tissue will be heated up rapidly to reach cellular damage. Now, this doesn’t sound like a smart choice but it’s only with cellular damage that your skin cells start producing more collagen. This helps tighten your skin immediately, and also comes a long-lasting effect to stimulate collagen production.

Which Areas Are Best To Treat With HIFU?

Those looking to fix their saggy skin will be pleased to know that the HIFU treatment can give your entire face and neck area a subtle refresh. This includes your cheeks, brow area, and even eyelids. The latter is unique since many non-invasive treatments are not tailored for the sensitive area around your eyes—Ultraformer 3 has a special device to help treat droopy eyelids and crow’s feet.

Besides lifting and tightening, HIFU also helps with fine wrinkles, tightening your decolletage, and even helping define your jawline. It’s also known to help with “turkey neck”, where the loose folds of your neck will be firmed and smoothened. While many will use HIFU to tighten their face and neck, it can also be used to treat other parts of the body such as the lower abdomen or thighs.

What Are The Results Of HIFU?

Mild results can be seen immediately after the treatment and further improvement can be seen around 1 to 3 months. It might even take up to 6 months to see the full effects for fresher, supple skin and this can last for up to 2 years or so.

To properly maintain your skin and to stay looking youthful, a repeat treatment is recommended after 2 years or so. Stepping out of the clinic, you might experience mild redness and swelling but this fades time. There is also minimal downtime, and you can expect to go back to your regular schedule the same day.

Price of HIFU (Ultraformer 3) Treatment: From $500 at Zoe Medical for 800 shots

Best For:

Patients older than 30 years old with concerns over mild-to-moderate loose skin, fine wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. Also, anyone looking to treat droopy eyelids, crow’s feet, or sagging cheeks.

Choosing Between Ultherapy or HIFU (Ultraformer 3)

On a surface level, both Ultherapy and the HIFU treatment deliver age-defying results: uplifted skin, smoothening of wrinkles, and renewed skin elasticity. The main common trait is that they both stimulate collagen. While producing collagen is part of your body’s natural healing process, collagen growth declines rapidly every year.

This eventually leads to skin aging, much-dreaded fragile skin with less elasticity. To best combat sagging, loose skin and fine wrinkles, we all need a constant supply of collagen for our skin to stay supple—and that’s exactly what both treatments offer.

Few Differences To Take Into Consideration

First, FDA approval. Ultherapy is US FDA approved but HIFU (Ultraformer 3) has yet to gain its approval. Yet, as mentioned earlier, this places little weight on the treatment’s risk and effectiveness as it simply means that it’s a technology that’s not currently used in the US. For the record, Ultraformer 3 is Health Sciences Authority (HSA) approved and also approved by the regulatory bodies of many countries, including South Korea, Australia, Brazil, and Europe.

Another point of difference is that Ultherapy includes a special real-time imaging technology so that the practitioner can see the treated areas during the procedure. This suggests a better sense of accuracy during treatment, meaning that the ultrasound energy waves are more likely to hit the target.

Lastly, if you’re interested in fixing your crow’s feet or saggy eyelids, we suggest HIFU (Ultraformer 3) to help solve any concerns you have with the sensitive skin around your eyes. As the only technology with a 2mm handpiece, ultrasound energy will be delivered with pinpoint accuracy to smoothen out fine wrinkles and droopy eyelids.

Non-invasive Facelifts

with Zoe Medical’s Experienced Team

When it comes down to it, both Ultherapy and HIFU (Ultraformer 3) are suitable for anyone who wants to do a little fixer- upper but without going under the knife. As these non-invasive treatments both offer lifting and tightening effects, it’s not exactly intuitive to figure out which works best for you.

As an established aesthetic clinic, our experienced team at Zoe Medical will run through the differences between Ultherapy and HIFU. We pride ourselves in offering a personalised pre-consultation with our practitioners, so you can find out more about which treatment suits you best.

Whether it’s a sagging jawline or deep nasolabial folds, reach out to Zoe Medical to find out more. Some treatments offered by us are only performed at partnership medical centres.

Reach out to Zoe Medical to find out more! Whatsapp us here!

Find Us :

#03-07/08 Camden Medical Centre One Orchard Boulevard Singapore 248649

Open Hours :

Mon-Fri: 09:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat: 09:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun: 09:00 am - 11:00 pm

Contacts :

Phone: (+65) 6836 6035
Whatsapp: (+65) 9147 6430

Write to Us :