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The Bend Magazine

Turn Back the Clock with Ultherapy

09/26/2019 05:08PM

By: Gabby Gonzalez, Halcyon Med Spa

In a 2018 interview with New Look Now, Christie Brinkley made two points about her decision to try Ultherapy. First, she described her personal priority do what she can to preserve and boost collagen and elastin. After all, those are the proteins that give skin taut, firm quality. She was impressed by Ultherapy’s ability to actually deliver on its claims. To paraphrase, “The average person does it once every 12 or 18 months, and during that time you’re aging backward.” Secondly, she wants our culture to be more open on the subject of self-care, she doesn’t like the idea of “beauty secrets.” So she’s telling the world what she did, and how she liked it! As a practitioner, I applaud her openness on the subject not only for myself and the industry but for advocating better consumer understanding. 

What is Ultherapy? 

Ultherapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment to lift and tighten skin. Ultherapy relies on ultrasound energy to deliver its collagen-boosting treatment. It also incorporates conventional ultrasound imaging, which allows practitioners to see the layers of tissue they are treating. That ensures that the treatment targets areas where it will be most beneficial. During healing, tightening occurs. FDA cleared Ultherapy treats deep in the dermis layers of skin tissue without disturbing the surface (epidermis), which means no inconvenient downtime after a procedure.

Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its elasticity by keeping it firm and toned. As we age, collagen breaks down, and the result is a loss of skin strength. Many factors dictate the rate of collagen breakdown, such as your genes, UV exposure, diet and lifestyle. Ultherapy uses micro-focused ultrasound to generate a thermal effect under the skin. The thermal effect essentially jump-starts a process that produces fresh collagen. It tells the dormant collagen to get back into production. It’s not uncommon to perform a series of Ultherapy on the full face and neck, which targets those areas where gravity and sun exposure have weakened collagen support.

As an Ultherapy practitioner, I find that many of my clients are familiar with Ultherapy as an approach to treating the lower face, which is an excellent application. I like to discuss the upper face as well. A major component of the aging face is a lowering of the skin above our eyes. That skin starts to hang lower and lower, causing drooping below the eyebrows and into the top eyelid. Ultherapy is exceptionally successful at lifting the brow and raising that lax skin out of the eye area. Opening up the eye has a big impact on restoring a youthful appearance.

What to Expect Before Your Treatment: 

There are no special preparations you need to make before your treatment, though you should understand that it is tolerable but not painless. To enhance your comfort, we recommend that you take an over-the counter or prescribed medication before the treatment. Comfort levels vary from person to person.

What to Expect After Your Treatment:

You can expect to return to your normal activities immediately after your treatment. Some patients will appear flushed or experience tenderness to the touch, but symptoms disappear after a few hours. Tenderness can last a few days. 

How Many Treatments Do I Need? 

Most commonly, one treatment is recommended to see improvement. But depending on the skin’s laxity, some individuals will want to consider a series to see the full benefits of Ultherapy. Vanessa Williams was recently quoted as being a fan of Ultherapy, not surprisingly, high profile figures like her will undergo the procedure more often.

Diversify Your Anti-Aging Approach

Gravity will take its toll on our faces. Skin will begin to sag, and Ultherapy may be a treatment option to address that. For some people, a surgical face-lift will still be the better choice. But for those who pursue the non-invasive option, consider all the tools science has given us. Loss of facial fat is another component of the aging face. An individual can treat sagging skin with Ultherapy, and replace volume loss with dermal filler to achieve a really satisfying, rejuvenating effect. The beauty industry is exploding in anti-aging options. The important thing is to do your own research on the modality that interests you, and ask questions of your aesthetic partner to be sure you are investing your time and money in the best procedure for your goals.

Men and women today are more conscious about fitness and healthy lifestyles, and want to maintain their youthful appearance beyond middle age. We’re lucky to be living in a time where research and engineering is providing scientifically-proven options for aesthetic services.

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Gabby Gonzalez is a Licensed Aesthetician at Halcyon Med Spa and is also currently studying at Del Mar College to pursue a nursing degree.

Halcyon Med Spa is solely owned and operated by Dr. Lonnie Schwirtlich. All medical services are performed by Master Injectors Angelica Jackson, a Board Certified PA trained in Dermatology, and Heather Lenhart Orr, a Family Nurse Practitioner.