Ultherapy vs. Sofwave – Which Skin Tightening Treatment is Best for You?

Ultherapy vs. Sofwave — While both of these treatments use high-intensity, micro-focused ultrasound energy, are FDA-approved to lift and tighten skin on the face and neck, and involve no injections or downtime, there are some key differences that are critical to understand before making your decision on which procedure to invest in. Contrary to many recent marketing claims, Sofwave is not a “new and improved” version of Ultherapy – these treatments are actually geared toward different individuals!


Ultherapy Overview

Ultherapy, the first FDA-approved treatment for lifting and tightening skin on the face and neck, is designed to remodel and rebuild the collagen framework within your skin and deeper connective tissue layers. Ultherapy is the only treatment, besides surgery, that can impact these deep layers of skin, including the muscle layer. This gives the skin both a lifting and tightening effect, which can improve the appearance of sagging skin on the lower face, under chin, and neck, as well as lift the brow and smooth the crow’s feet and under eye areas.  Without treatin 

Sofwave Overview

Sofwave is designed on very similar principles as Ultherapy, however it only treats the skin layer, not the connective tissue or muscle layers below. Put simply, this means that Sofwave is a viable option for treating crepy or wrinkled skin, but it’s not a good option for those looking for deeper lifting, such as to lift sagging skin around the lower face, jowls, jawline, and under chin. Since Sofwave only treats the skin at one preset depth, the treatment takes less time that Ultherapy, but the treatment does not have the level of customization that Ultherapy allows for.


Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between Ultherapy and Sofwave treatments fo lifting and tightening the skin.

How Ultherapy & Sofwave Work

Ultherapy and Sofwave both use high-intensity, micro-focused ultrasound energy to create controlled injuries in the skin to produce a healing response. Both treamtents create thermal microcoagulation points (TCP) within the skin, which are very tiny points of heat that damage the existing collagen, prompting neocollagenesis, which is the process in wich new collagen is formed.

Treatment Depths

With Sofwave, the treatment is set to a depth of 1.5mm, which reaches the dermis, which is essentially the main skin layer itself. With Ultherapy, however, the treatment is customizeable and can treat at 1.5mm, 3.0mm, and 4.5mm, which means that Ultherapy can treat not only the skin, but also the deeper structures such as connective tissue and muscle layers. In most cases, two depths are selected for an Ultherapy treatment in order to achieve both skin lifting and tightening, rather than skin tightening only.

Ultrasound Visualization

A unique characteristic of Ultherapy is that the device features an onboard diagnostic ultrasound system which allows the practitioner to “see” inside the skin in real time.  This is important for both safety reasons – allowing the practitioner to avoid treating into key structures such as large blood vessels and bone – while also allowing the practitioner to measure the depth of each layer of your skin and connective tissue layers. This enables true customization of your treatment based on your anatomical features which cannot be seen otherwise. The Ultherapy practitioner should use the information from your scan to select which depths to treat at, in order to produce the best collagen response.


Research and Approvals

Ultherapy received its first FDA-approval about 15 years ago and now has 10 FDA indications. Ultherapy has more than 50+ clinical studies and published papers supporting its efficacy, making it one of the most well-studied aesthetic procedures in history. Sofwave was first FDA-approved in 2019 and has 5 core indications to date.


Which treatment is best for me?

If your goal is to lift and tighten your skin non-invasively, Ultherapy is the clear choice due to its ability to treat deeper layers of tissue for a true lift. If you are looking to address wrinkles and crepiness, but are not concerned with sagging, Sofwave may be a better option as it focuses solely on the skin layer itself. It is worth noting, however, that Ultherapy can be used to treat crepiness and wrinkles as well since it also has the ability to treat the skin layer directly like Sofwave does.

We recommend seeking the advice of an established, reputable aesthetic provider in order to select the best treatment for your skin concerns and goals.


Choosing an Ultherapy Provider

The practitioner’s skill is of utmost importance when performing a treatment like Ultherapy, which is why all of our treatments are performed by our specialist Pam Delacruz, who worked as a clinical trainer for Ultherapy and is regarded as one of the foremost providers in the tri-state area. We have recevied multiple Ultherapy recognitions as a top provider on the East Coast.


Looking to lift and tighten your skin? Call us at 877-750-0020 or text us at 201-425-0825 to schedule a complimentary consultation for a personalized assessment and treatment plan.

About Aesthetic Center of New Jersey

Aesthetic Center of New Jersey is a premier luxury aesthetic center providing advanced non-surgical medical aesthetic treatments for the face, body, and hair. Aesthetic Center of New Jersey takes pride in delivering fully customized, high-performance, results-driven treatments for a wide range of cosmetic concerns and conditions.

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