Women nowadays increasingly flock to firming treatments, which do not require going under the knife. The advantages of doing so are eliminating the risk of surgery, minimizing complications, and hardly any down time what with the modern hectic lifestyle.
As always, it was Hollywood A-listers who popularized the use of these non-invasive treatments from the beginning, one of the most popular of which—Ultherapy—has such fans as Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox, including international beauty editors from Vogue US , Bazaar, and Marie Claire. And, as always again, this treatment has found its way to the Philippines with a promise to defy aging.
Lift, heal, treat
Filipinos can now experience the natural yet noticeable lifting effects of the first and only US FDA-approved non-surgical lifting procedure for the brow, the under chin, neck, and décolletage with Ultherapy.
Described as a beauty breakthrough, the treatment lifts the skin using ultrasound technology to stimulate the body’s own healing process, finally treating the deeper layers of the skin without disrupting or cutting the surface.
Ultherapy is developed by one of the world’s leading aesthetics companies, German pharmaceutical company Merz. Since receiving the US FDA clearance, the machine has undergone several improvements and innovation, while still maintaining its approved safety and efficacy.
“Any medical device that is considered to be US FDA means that it has been cleared with substantial evidence or studies that provide safety with the use of the treatment. So, if the device is US FDA approved, then patients are assured that it will provide quality treatment, and most importantly safety, which should be the number one factor considered in any treatment,” explained Merz Asia Pacific Senior Regional Medical Director and doctor Owen Sunga during Ultherapy’s official launch on March 8 at Shangri-La Makati.
“This technology is the first of its kind in that it is able to get to deeper skin layers and treat them without any damage to the outer layers. Lasers, radiofrequency and other devices on the other hand, treat from the outside going in, and are not US FDA-cleared to lift skin. The ultrasound technology used in Ultherapy prompts new collagen and elastin formation so the body is able to treat itself,” he added.
According to Dr. Sunga, with just one Ultherapy treatment, the lifting process is initiated, but the effects are gradual as new, stronger collagen and elastin are produced. A 45- to 60-minute procedure, the results are maximally visible in three months, and further improvements can appear up to six months to one year after a procedure as the collagen-building process continues.
Age and sex
Meanwhile, while the aging process varies among individuals, dermatologist Fang-Wen Tseng said that the initial period that one should initiate firming treatments is from 30 years old and up. Men and women in their 30s often experience changes in fat layers of the skin.
“We tell our patients that the improvement will last for at least one to two years. But because you keep aging, you can do the treatment again every one to two years to maintain the improvement you achieved,” Tseng explained.
“There are also males who avail of the procedure, by the way,” he added. “Some 5 to 10-percent of customers now are male so it’s an emerging trend for them too.
“Also for younger patients like women in their 30s or 40s, who notice their face looks heavier than before, maybe because of the fat they gained during pregnancy and never got rid of that, we also recommend Ultherapy.”
First PH patient
With all the buzz Ultherapy created in Hollywood, it did not take long for the country’s Queen of Talk, Kris Aquino to take notice of the treatment, quickly becoming a fan of the treatment. The actress-host shared during the launch that Ultherapy was the answer to her number one beauty worry.
“I felt that surgery would cause more problems for me than what it would be worth,” said Aquino. “I didn’t want anything drastic and high maintenance. I just thought that I’d be happier without a few lines here and there. So, when I was told about this non-surgical lifting procedure that would just take over an hour and needed no downtime, I had to try it.”
“After the treatment, I started seeing the effects, and I became a believer. Because my body causes the lifting and firming from the collagen production, the results looked so natural. I got so many compliments but no one could tell I had anything done,” she added.
For the 47-year-old celebrity, “the level of commitment to beautify” will come from what you do.
“I think you would do this treatment and the exert effort if you really need to do it. As for me, since I am on camera all the time, I need it,” she said openly.
“Unlike any other treatment, Ulthera doesn’t freeze your face, because especially when you’re a host, they need to see your reactions. That’s why I was really impressed by it.”
Satisfied with the results of Ulthera, she delightfully related, “I see all the comments on Instagram. They say, ‘Why are you looking so good even your skin?’ It was a lifestyle change primarily because I did go to the US to have a full check up to know what was wrong with my hypertension and all my health concerns. [From there], everything was answered so my medication was changed, even my diet. Plus, I am taking really good care of my skin.
“But when you do Ulthera, it’s not cheap but it’s really worth it. We all want to fight the signs of aging and you don’t want to look like a science project. With Ulthera you won’t look like that, you’ll look natural but very beautiful,” Aquino added.
Ultherapy is now available in more than 60 countries worldwide, and the Philippines is one of the identified as a very exciting market.
As a final word, Merz Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Siow shared, “The reason why we wanted to invest in this country is because you are among the top 10 in the aesthetics. Compared to countries like Korea, Taiwan, Japan, China—although they are very big—he growth [in this industry]is slowing down. It’s a very exciting place here,” he said.
Currently, there are around 20 cosmetic and aesthetic centers who offer Ultherapy in the country. Cost may vary from one center to the other, but the price range is between P100,000 to P120,000.