I am 48 years old and have always taken very good care of my fair skin. Religiously wear SPF 30 sunscreen and no tanning whatsoever. I have used cycles of Retin A, Obagi, and Copper Peptides for at least a decade now. I have always enjoyed looking years younger than by real age…………………..until the past year or so.
The dreaded skin laxity has started to rear its ugly head causing a slight drop in my cheeks and worse yet the beginning of little jowls. This has all happened in the last year or so and it has been bothering me more and more. I began to get the “you look tired” comments from friends and co-workers on days when I wasn’t tired at all. I decided that it was time to do something about it. The Esthetician that does my monthly microdermabrasion asked me if I had heard of Ultherapy. When I told her no, she went on to explain the whole procedure and told me that they were now offering it at their offices. I was interested but leery. I began to research everything I could about Ultherapy – this went on for about 6 months. Finally I made the decision to go for it. The skin center that I was already using for facials and microderms just happened to be offering an outstanding Ultherapy promotion, full face and neck for $2,000 which is about a $1,000 savings. I booked the appointment for January 11th.
On appointment day I took two extra strength Vicodins and one 50mg Xanax about 45 minutes before the procedure. The medication began to kick in right when the procedure was starting. THANK GOODNESS I took pain medication……Holy Cow this is a painful procedure! The medication was my own (left over from some dental work last year), and I took it because of all the reviews citing how painful Ulthera was on Real Self and other sites. The Esthetician advised me to take any pain medication and anti-anxiety medication that I had on hand because the center only gives out Ibuprofen and stress balls to squeeze. If I had any complaint at all – it would be about that. It is ridiculous to think anyone could sit through this procedure without pain medication. I have an average pain tolerance and I have given birth, had root canals done, had a slipped disc, C-section, etc. Let me be completely honest when I tell you that this ranks right up there in terms of pain (not discomfort – pain). The entire procedure lasted a little over an hour. The most painful areas were along the jawline, upper cheekbones, and eye area particularly by the eyebrows. I was literally panting and super squeezing those stupid little stress balls – LOL. If I hadn’t taken the pain meds, I never would have been able to sit through this entire procedure.
Immediately after my face looked a little red (not much) and slightly puffy (not swollen). I re-applied my make-up and it looked as if I had not had anything done. Thankfully the pain stops immediately after the pulse is complete – no lingering pain. I was told 3-6 months to see improvements although some slight positive changes may occur immediately. The skin under and around my jawline was tender to the touch for almost 14 days. Although I had no initial bruising, I strangely experienced bruising showing up around day 5. It was minor and look like a pale yellow, slightly greenish color just under the jawline. This lasted almost a week but was easily covered up with regular mineral make-up. The area above my eyebrows was temporarily affected, causing a weird sensation in the top and back of my head whenever the area was touched. This lasted almost 10 days but has pretty much subsided by the two week mark.
My skin feels ultra smooth, especially along my jawline, directly under my neck and across my forehead. It feels like the skin on baby’s bottom. I noticed a definite lift to my eyebrows almost immediately and that was an area that I had not noticed any real problem with but surprising it looks so much better already. Just in the last few days I have noticed a much firmer look and feel to my skin, not taunt just firmer. The jowl area looks ever so slightly improved but nothing significant at this point.
I will continue to post regular updates. Hopefully the jawline and jowl area improves because that was my primary complaint and the reason I chose to have Ultherapy done. I can’t say at this point whether or not it was worth it. I selected “yes” because I have seen some positive changes already but to truly be worth it ($$ & Pain) the results need to be more significant and they need to last at least 1.5 – 2 years, otherwise it would just be better to get a mini lift and be done with it for 4-5 years.
I return to the office for a follow-up visit in the beginning of April. If I can get copies of my before and after pics, I will post them at that time.