Dr Julie Brooks, PhD, explores the pros and cons of 2023 most sort after skin tightening treatments.

You cannot avoid some things in life: paying taxes and getting old. And unfortunately, the older we get, the more our skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag. For many people, skin laxity is predominately on the jawline. It is not uncommon, however, for people to get droopy jowls, cheeks, eyes and eyebrows, especially if someone has had significant weight loss. Years ago, this type of skin laxity could only be treated with surgery. However, advances in aesthetic technology have led to a new generation of skin tightening procedures.

HIFU non-surgical facelift

One of the fastest-growing non-surgical facelifting procedures of 2023 is high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). The procedure treats the deep tissue of the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) layer. A targeted ultrasound laser is used to injure the SMAS, increasing collagen and elastin production simulation. The effect results in lifted, tauter skin which is more radiant. Since the tissue takes time to repair, results are not instant and can take up to 3 months. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. The delay of the skin tightening makes the results look more natural. However, most patients see a significant improvement in their skin tone and texture after one treatment. Over time, wrinkles and fine lines also improve. The treatment is recommended for anyone with moderate skin laxity, as it is not particularly effective on severe skin laxity.

HIFU non surgical facelift


HIFU non-surgical facelift

Advantages Disadvantages
Non-invasive (no injections or incisions) Can sometimes be uncomfortable
No anaesthesia required Not effective on severe skin laxity
No downtime required Tightening can take up to 3 months
Skin looks more radiant instantly Repeated treatment required 1-2 years
Can resume normal daily activities straight after procedure People with pacemakers or metal objects in the body cannot have the procedure
Tightens jowls & turkey neck
Lifts eye & eyebrow droops
Natural looking results
Reduces fine lines & wrinkles
Full face and neck can be treated.


Thread lift

One of the new procedures on the block is the thread lift or PDO lift. In fact, the procedure has been around for many years; however, the innovation in the thread material has led to the procedure becoming more popular in recent years. A tread lift is a minimally invasive procedure that uses fine synthetic threads strategically inserted under the skin. The threads help pull back loose skin to give the skin a firmer, tauter look. Results are instant, but downtime is required for the swelling and bruising to go down. In a tread lift, certain areas are targeted, such as the jawline and cheeks. Since piercing the skin is necessary to insert the treads, complications may arise. Firstly, broken skin is exposed to infections, and scaring/dimpling may occur at the insertion site. Secondly, it is possible for the face to look asymmetric if the threads are not carefully positioned on each side of the face. Another thing to note is that a thread lift does not treat the skin condition; it only lifts targeted areas of the face.



Thread lift or PDO facelift

Advantages Disadvantages
Minimally invasive Requires the insertion of sutures in the skin
Immediate results


Synthetic material may be rejected by the body.
Low recovery 3-5 days Downtime required for swelling and bruising
No anaesthesia required Not effective on severe skin laxity
Targeted lifting Results vary
Complications may arise, such as infections in broken skin
Risk of asymmetry in the face
It may cause scarring/dimpling of the skin
Can be painful
Repeated treatment required in 1 year


Over the past few years, there has been a significant rise in non-surgical procedures, all promising to treat skin laxity. HIFU non-surgical facelifts and thread lifts have been proven to lift and tighten facial skin. Before deciding what treatment would be best for you, educating yourself on the available treatments is essential. This should be done with the help of an aesthetic professional, who can explain in depth the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment for you, and advise which procedure is the best to achieve your desired goal. For some people, a quick lift may be all they are after, while for others, it may be important to treat the face holistically, improving not only the laxity but also the skin tone and texture.

Before & after pictures of HIFU non surgical facelift


At the QWoman clinic we specialise in non-surgical procedures to give women a more natural, rejuvenated look. Make yourself a priority and treat yourself once in a while.

For a no obligation consultation please contact the QWoman Clinic

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