Ultherapy Vs HIFU: What is the Difference?

To what extent would one go to achieve the ideal jawline, cheekbones, eyes and every key facial feature? While some have no qualms about undergoing invasive surgical procedures, demands for more natural, non-surgical skin tightening and lifting solutions are on an all-time high with growing conversations and media coverage on leading names such as Ultherapy and HIFU and more.

Contrary to popular opinion, no solutions are created with equal credibility, authenticity and efficacy that customers deserve. In this article, we attempt to shed light on some key differences between these two solutions. Read on to find out more.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is the world’s first and only U.S. FDA-cleared skin tightening and lifting treatment with real-time visualisation to lift the skin on the neck, under the chin and on the brow, as well as to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the décolleté.

Each treatment is formulated for hyper-personalised precision, using micro-focused ultrasound energy with real-time visualisation (MFU-V) to assess the skin’s structure and composition and accurately target treatment areas in real-time.

What is HIFU?

HIFU, also known as High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, is a technology that was initially developed as a medical intervention to treat tumours before its foray into skin aesthetics. Similar to Ultherapy, a HIFU therapy uses ultrasound to create heat within layers of the skin, with each session lasting 30 to 90 minutes.

What is the difference between Ultherapy and HIFU?


  • Ultherapy utilises micro-focused ultrasound (prioritises precision and personalisation).
  • HIFU uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (prioritises on intensity, given its origins in tumour intervention functions). 

Imaging capabilities:

  • Ultherapy uses real-time ultrasound imaging that enables providers to effectively customise treatments based on individual face structures and target the desired tissue layers with real-time accuracy. 
  • HIFU is known as a ‘blind’ skin tightening treatment as the technology is unable to fully track the layers of tissue during the treatment, thus often producing variable results to different people based on their individual skin layering differences.

FDA clearance: 

  • Ultherapy is the only US FDA-cleared non-invasive skin lifting with real-time visualisation.
  • HIFU doesn’t have US FDA clearance even though its speciality covers the same areas as Ultherapy. 

Their differences to most, at least on the surface, are not many. But to those in the know, the contrast and outcomes between Ultherapy and HIFU are night and day. Even though both solutions are positioned as non-invasive treatments that target the deep within the skin layers using ultrasound to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, Ultherapy presents an edge over HIFU in core functions, visualisation capabilities and credibility amongst regulators. 

Ultherapy vs HIFU: which is better for you?

Every skin type is created differently—that is why no solutions should be the same. The best solutions are hyper-personalised based on your skin’s true need.

For customers who stand behind this fundamental train of thought, Ultherapy is the recommended solution for you. Equipped with real-time visualisation, Ultherapy lets both the aesthetician and patient see the target areas before, during and after the treatment delivery. This means absolute precision and predictability throughout the entire process, as well as the clear capability to tailor optimal results that the skin needs.

Ultherapy has also built a reputation within the industry and community of customers, setting the gold standard in skin tightening treatments with over 2 million treatments successfully administered worldwide.

To find out how you can achieve your goals with the Ultherapy difference, speak to any of our clinic partners near you today.


1 Mehta-Ambalal SR. Neocollagenesis and Neoelastinogenesis: From the Laboratory to the Clinic. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2016 Jul-Sep;9(3):145-151. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.191645. PMID: 27761083; PMCID: PMC5064677.

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