Radiofrequency vs HIFU skin tightening – Which is right for you?
Can one treatment target wrinkles, loss of elasticity and textural issues at the same time as tightening with minimal discomfort and recovery time? Non-surgical skin tightening treatments make it entirely possible. They are a great way to lift and firm the skin whilst improving skin quality, skin tone, texture and elasticity. As we age, the quality of our skin diminishes. It becomes duller and loses its vibrancy and elasticity. Sun damage causes discolouration and wrinkling, while the breaking down of collagen causes everything to sag. Demand for treatments that improve skin texture and appearance without significant downtime is rising. Two of the most popular non-surgical skin tightening treatments include radiofrequency and HIFU – but which is better? And which is right for you? This is everything you need to know.
What is radiofrequency (RF)?
A radiofrequency treatment involves generating enough heat within the skin that the collagen thinks it’s been damaged. When it’s damaged, it shrinks a little, so we get a small immediate tightening effect, and then, to try and repair itself, the skin produces more collagen, which helps strengthen, smooth and firm up the skin.
At Illuminate Skin Clinic, we use Profound RF, which combines radiofrequency and microneedling, giving a double whammy for boosting collagen and elastin —combining the two by firing the RF energy out of the needles’ tips whilst deep in the skin makes for a very effective treatment that is not easy to achieve through non-surgical means.
What is HIFU?
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatments aim pulses of focused ultrasound energy deep into the skin to stimulate new collagen growth from well below the surface. HIFU reaches deeper into the skin than RF, and the heat generated encourages deep dermal tissue to produce new compact collagen fibres.
Which is right for me?
While both technologies are designed to tighten the skin non-surgically, they differ significantly in how they work. The best one for you depends on your concerns and what you want to achieve from treatment. As we age, our face starts to experience a mixture of changes, such as sagging, wrinkling and hollowness. Although everyone’s ageing experience is unique and should always be addressed individually, the following guide may indicate which of the two treatments is right for you.
HIFU, or other ultrasound treatments like Sofwave, which is what we use at Illuminate, are great for smoothing deep wrinkles and tightening sagging skin around areas like the jawline or eyelids. Radiofrequency on its own, focuses on epidermal layers and is effective at tightening the skin and thickening the skin tissues to create the effect of subtly more volume in the face. As mentioned above, combining radiofrequency with microneedling brings two very effective technologies together in one powerful treatment. Radiofrequency microneedling with Profound RF, is on par with Sofwave in terms of clinical data and results, however, it isn’t suitable for treating the upper face or the chest.
The best method for treating your concerns will depend on the extent of your skin ageing, the area you want to treat, and your desired results. For this reason, when considering any treatment, you should always consult a specialist who can professionally assess your facial anatomy and your concerns. Only after the physical examination can a specific treatment recommendation be made.
If you’d like to learn more about the non-surgical skin tightening options or to understand what’s right for you, click here to book a consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.