Does Ultherapy’s non-invasive facelift hold true to its promise of firmer skin that gets better in time?

A test drive of Ultherapy, which promises to tighten and tone the skin with nary a nip or a tuck, reveals you really can turn back the clock.
Rebecca Treston performing an Ultherapy treatment. Courtesy Rebecca Treston
Rebecca Treston performing an Ultherapy treatment. Courtesy Rebecca Treston

Ultherapy promises to tighten and tone the skin with nary a nip nor a tuck. We try out one of the first machines to hit the region and finds out you really can turn back the clock.

The background

I have been interested in Ultherapy ever since interviewing several MDs from the original American edition of the television show The Doctors. Near the end of the interview, in February 2012, I asked Dr Andrew Orton and his partner, Ritu Chopra, what facial procedures really, really work – and Ultherapy was at the top of the list.

The FDA-approved device uses ultrasound to stimulate tissue under the skin of the face and neck to produce more collagen, penetrating to 4.5 millimetres. Previously, the only way to stimulate the collagen that deep was by cutting – no thanks. The treatment, which conforms with Orton and Chopra’s “not-obvious” aesthetic, wasn’t even available in the UAE or Gulf region at the time.

I have heard many promising things about Ultherapy since then, watching as it received good reviews and explained some of the most gorgeous and natural-looking forty and fifty-something actresses of our time. So when Euromed’s Rebecca Treston Aesthetics bought one of the first machines in the region earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to test it out.

The mindset

Deep breath: I am 44. But also pretty happy with the way things are going in terms of the ageing process and my face. The only thing I have been worried about is my neck. I have always had a double chin and the kind of neck and jawline that is the opposite of defined. And once I hit my late 30s, I started to obsess about the state of the skin on the neck I already didn’t love. It was, um, sagging. Treston explained that I am a great candidate for a little “prejuvenation”; as are women in their 30s.

The procedure

I was warned to use a numbing cream on my face and take ibuprofen, which I did. When I arrived at the clinic, Treston cleansed my face and applied a cool ultrasound gel, which served as a conductor for the Ulthera wand. I have to say, despite the precautions, it still hurt. The most similar experience I could liken it to would be sticking a series of needles into your face. But it wasn’t nearly as painful as laser hair removal and it never hurt to the point where I thought I wouldn’t be able to take it.

When Treston gave me a mirror before moving on to the second half of my face, I could totally see a difference. And when we finished less than an hour later, I noticed an immediate tightening up around my jaw. Afterwards, I looked totally fine. My face did ache all over for more than a week and was also quite itchy – a sensation that cropped up on and off for several weeks after that – and I swear I still feel it sometimes, months later.

The verdict

Although there are some immediate results, the benefits are supposed to unfold as new collagen is produced. After more than three months, the recommended time for making judgements, I can really see a difference. And I’ve had about half-a-dozen compliments too, of the “you look really well” variety. Oddly, Treston had promised me in the office that is exactly what people would say. Word for word.

All I really wanted to change was my neck and jawline and there is an obvious improvement and tightening there. I hadn’t even thought about the grooves around my mouth (in the business they are called “nasal labial folds”) until I saw the before-and-after pictures. To me, they are quite diminished.

Treatments, which can also be tailored to target certain areas such as the chin, eyes or brow, are supposed to last for several years. I like that there is a viable, natural-looking freshening-up option out there that is not outrageously priced – compared with fillers and Botox, which are extremely expensive, can be painful, need to be done regularly and, let’s face it, can make people look weird if overdone. If you are ageing and concerned about your face and neck, with some money to spend, this is the way to go.

• A full face and neck Ultherapy treatment takes between 60 to 90 minutes and costs Dh18,000, including consultation, treatment and follow-up appointments. Rebecca Treston Aesthetics is located at Euromed, Villa 611, Jumeirah Beach Road. For more information or to book an appointment, call 04 394 5422 or visit,

Published: September 6, 2014 04:00 AM


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