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Ultrasonic: How it Works

July 3, 2012 Reviewed by Marta 34 Comments

When Truth In Aging launched the Ultra Renew PLUS Ultrasonic LED, it became our runaway bestseller. It has also elicited lots of important questions about how ultrasonic works. In this post, I am going to try to answer as many as I can. I consulted more than 30 sources and this is a summary of what I understand. As I come across more research, I will update.

First of all, ultrasound (ultrasonic ) is high frequency sound waves, between 800,000 Hz and 2,000,000 Hz. This cannot be heard by humans and this is why you will not hear Ultra Renew when it is working in ultrasonic mode.

Therapeutic ultrasound frequency ranges from 1-3 MHz. The higher the frequency, the less effective the ultrasound is. Ergo, 2 is stronger than 5. The Ultra Renew Plus is in the 3mz range and the ultrasound penetrates less than 2 mm.

As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head to the skin they cause a vibration of the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen. You will not actually feel vibrations on the surface of the skin and the device will not feel hot against the skin.The vibration massages the surrounding tissue, which then increases oxygen to the cells and aids in the removal of waste. The skin is should feel instantly energized, rosy and firm.

There are theories that the non-thermal actions of ultrasound are also important and beneficial. The idea is that the rapid oscillation of tissue created by ultrasound energy promotes movement of fluid waves against cells, facilitating movement between the inner and outer cells and thereby increased fibroblastic activity and collagen formation.

Since some of you have compared the action to medical grade machines such as Ulthera. At 4 to 7 MHz, Ultherapy is close to the frequency used in Liposonix (a fat reduction therapy that some of you have also mentioned), but it is microfocused at depths of 3 mm and 4.5 mm. The smaller focal point causes “coagulative necrosis” with peak temperatures between 60° and 70° C. Temperatures have to get above 56°C for  "thermal toxicity" to occur".

Because Ulthera and Liposonix are associated with fat reduction, some of you are concerned that ultrasound on the face will “melt fat cells.” First, the facial devices are not microfusing the energy and they don’t get to temperatures anywhere like 56°C. Also, it is is important to understand that “fat melting” isn’t actually what happens with ultrasound. As mentioned above, the energy is not thermal at all; rather it (by which I mean the machines used in a doctor's office) vibrate and rupture the cell membranes of the fat cells then the fat is aspirated from the body - in effect the ultrasound is making liposuction easier. (source)

In any case, there are theories that the non-thermal actions of ultrasound are also important and beneficial. Rapid oscillation of tissue and fluid as a result of ultrasound energy promotes movement of fluid waves against cells. This may result in alterations of the cellular membrane permeability and ion concentrations between the inner and outer cell wall, which may stimulate an intracellular cascade resulting in increased fibroblastic activity and collagen formation.

One feature that I was personally a little skeptical about – the theory that ultrasonic increases product penetration – actually seems to be proven. One study I found demonstrated enhanced penetration with a vitamin C serum used for hyperpigmentation. It seems to do this by a process called cavitation – the ultrasound creates bubble that implode to produce millions of microscopic jets of liquid (your serum in this case).

  • July 16, 2017

    by Mzia

    Liliana you can give me a consultation on the work of waves on the apparatus, that is how to determine the activity of the waves. Because in the presence of 5 green and 4 red indicators, I can not determine the frequency of wave activity.

  • March 16, 2017

    by nikki

    hello, i have a few questions..
    Which would be the most powerful for cleansing for ‘scrubbing the skin?’
    Which is better for antiaging and sonophoresis?
    and
    What makes them more or less powerful?

  • March 12, 2017

    by Marta

    Hi Lilliana, microcurrent works at the muscular level and ultrasound works at the cellular level. They both help firm the skin, but ultrasound has a deeper effect as it is boosting collagen production.

  • March 9, 2017

    by Lilliana Garcia Romero

    I would like to know is this device would work like the one that you used to have Truth Rejuvenate as a microcurrent?

  • June 5, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Meg, the Lux Renew would work very well as maintenance before and after Ultherapy.

  • June 4, 2016

    by Meg E Davis

    Sorry, posting this question twice. I posted in the wrong place.

    I will most likely be having Ultherapy done on full face for moderate skin laxity and under the jaw bone, for jowls. Would the technology in the Renew be just as effective, as Ultherapy? Will it be safe if they are combined for maintenance?

  • February 14, 2016

    by Eric

    I purchased an ultrasonic 3 mhz LED photon device on ebay for $40 and it has totally rejuvinated my skin. i use it 3 times a week after microneedling with a .5 mm dermaroller. you don't have to spend ridiculous prices to achieve amazing results. the cosmetics industry preys on women and men by pushing over priced serums and devices on them saying the device from china is not going to work. this is just baloney. i have also switched to babyface skin care products and have achieved amazing aesthetic results better than lancer and skin ceuticals products. use common sense and read the ingredrients on the bottles instead of wasting money. my one indulgence is le meiux;s tgf-b booster serum which i can find on ebay for $41.25 for 1 ounce of serum. it is fantastic and boosts the results of my other serums and creams. best of luck and happy anti-aging to all :)

    much love,
    eric xxxx

  • December 18, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Lori, you mention RF (radio frequency). That is a different technology from ultrasound. You can read about RF and differences with ultrasound here: https://www.truthinaging.com/review/tool-up-with-the-best-at-home-device-for-you
    As mentioned in this article above, a professional machine would be set at between 4-7 Mhz. Regarding 1Mhz, that is usually used on the body where it needs to penetrate more deeply. 3Mhz is typically used for the face.

  • December 17, 2015

    by lori

    Two questions..First..for at home RF for the face...MHZ1 is going to be best correct? and could u please explain why MHZ1 has more benefits than using MHZ3? I keep getting all kinds of different answers that r favorable to whatever is being sold.

    ok..another ?? sorry...what MHZ is used in a dr.s office? That may help me as well as others to understand we get more of our moneys worth going to a professional rather than DIY.

    Thank U!!!

  • August 10, 2015

    by Chris

    I'd like to warn potential buyers of cheap (and I mean junk) being sold on eBay, they are not the same machines being sold by reputable US manufacturers for 4+ thousand. Most eBay machines being sold by Chinese agents are around 60 hz. and are very poor quality. 60hz = 0.00006 MHZ. VERY weak. If you are contemplating the purchase for personal use, save your money and find yourself a good esthetician. The results will be far better and MUCH cheaper than you buying a $4,000.00 + machine only to realize that it is NOT the fountain of youth.

    It's my opinion that if you want to look your best, take care of your body. Don't smoke, drink in excess, eat sugar, refined-processed foods (GMOs), avoid toxins in anything you place on your skin, drink plenty of filtered-non fluoridated-non chlorinated water, get plenty of rest, get sun on your skin: not too much nor too little (about 20 min a day), love and be kind. Avoid sin... yes, I'm serious. :) Send the check to this blogger :)

  • January 13, 2015

    by Lindy

    Hi Lindy, I can only speculate on someone else's machine, but it is more likely that the three levels change the intensity but not the actual frequency. I have never come across a multi-frequency machines and would think that it would pose a few manufacturing challenges. Also, ultrasound, by definition, cannot be heard by the human ear so I am wondering if your machine is ultrasound or in fact some other teachnology.

  • January 13, 2015

    by Lindy

    I have a photo/ultrasound hand-held device that has 3 levels for the ultrasound. It came from China with no English instructions. Do you think the three levels of ultrasound might be 1Mhz, 2Mhz, and 3Mhz, meaning that for wrinkles I should use level 1? I can hear the sound go from lower to higher pitch from 1 to 3. Thanks for any input.

  • June 30, 2014

    by Marta

    Hi Leah, the eyelid skin is very thin and delicate and we don't know the effect of ultrasonic waves on your eyes. You can use it under/around the eyes and on the brow bone. For the lids, there are very good eye creams that can help with crepey skin. Please check out our Five Best recommendations: https://www.truthinaging.com/review/five-best-eye-serums-2013

  • June 29, 2014

    by Leah

    Why can't I use the ultrasound device on my eyelids that are starting to go crepey and mishapen at age 46?
    Will it cause more damage?
    Thanks

  • May 28, 2014

    by Kim

    Hi Marta. I've come across a gadget that is Ultrasonic + ion (-) + LED. I've been reading your posts and I haven't seen anything mentioned about ion. Can you share any feedback about the use of ion as it relates to anti-aging?

  • April 29, 2014

    by Marta

    Hi Margie
    The Ultra Renew Plus and Truth Renew will tackle anti-aging and acne. I don't know of any home device that eliminates fat since this requires heat. For more on choosing the best device and technology for specific needs read our Tool Up article:
    https://www.truthinaging.com/review/tool-up-with-the-best-at-home-device-for-you

  • April 28, 2014

    by Margie

    Which device is best for anti aging, acne reduction, hair elimination and fat cell elimination? Is there an all-in-one home product that can target all of those areas? There are several products on the market that have ultrasonic waves and colored led lights that sell for different prices creating confusion for me. Please help me decide which would be best for me. Thanks, Margie

  • January 12, 2014

    by Marta

    Hi Sharon, ultrasonic and microcurrent are different technologies. Microcurrent sends tiny electronic pulses whereas ultrasound is the same as when you have a sonogram. We have an article summarizing them here: http://www.truthinaging.com/review/tool-up-with-the-best-at-home-device-for-you

  • January 12, 2014

    by Sharon

    What is the difference between micro current and ultra sound if any. Thanks

  • November 22, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Debby Ultra Renew Gel Serum should be applied as a layer - like a face mask. I typically do about 4-5 minutes per area.

  • November 22, 2013

    by Debby

    Hi Marta, i just purchased but don't know how much gel serum to use and am unsure how long to keep on one area of the face. Thanks, Debby

  • September 6, 2013

    by ANIA

    Hello ,
    If 7MHz penetrates tissue 3mm deep and 4.5 MHz penetrates 4.5 mm ( according to Clinical trial.gov ) than how can 3MHz penetrate less than 2 mm ?? The lower frequency the higher the penetration . Can you explain it ?

  • February 15, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Jo, I think it would be best if you asked a doctor for an opinion.

  • February 13, 2013

    by jo payne

    Hi Marta I love reading these reviews and being ifromed on the products availabel. I need to know if the Ultra Renew Plus is suitable for my to use . I have a alloy wire attached to two vertebra in my neck du to an accident more than twenty years ago and was not sure if galvanic was out of the question for me, over the years so I have never been able to use the eletronic forms of anti aging , but i would love to.
    I really like the sound of this device and just need to know if it is safe for me, can you give me any information about this .
    Thanks Jo

  • December 28, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Gillian, the device is 110-240V and there should not be a problem using it with an adaptor.

  • December 28, 2012

    by Gillian Allen

    Hi,
    I have just ordered a renew plus and want to know if there will be any difference in the output bearing in mind that I will need to use a plug adaptor?
    If there is a problem with output could you please email me and I will cancel the order.
    Many thanks
    Gillian

  • October 6, 2012

    by Marta

    Roseanne, it is difficult finding something with enough slip and that is why we made the Ultra Renew Gel Serum
    http://www.truthinaging.com/ultra-renew-gel-serum-with-5-ybf-control
    If you can't get this right now (although the 4oz tube is good value) than simply buy a gel that is used for ultrasound examinations. They aren't very pleasant to use, have chemicals and no antioxidants but they do the trick for around $15

  • October 5, 2012

    by rosanne bentley

    I am having a problem finding something slippery enough to make it easy to use. I am not sure I can get your serum right now. What would work?

  • August 23, 2012

    by Marta

    Lynn, you can use Ultra Renew in Europe. It is 100-240V.

  • August 23, 2012

    by Lynn Sullivan

    Hi. I'd like to get an Ultra Renew that is wired for Europe. Will those be offered/are they available? Thanks.

  • August 9, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Liz

    Aluma is radio frequency, similar to Thermage. It can be painful. Ultra Renew uses different technologies - LED and Ultrasound. You can read more here on the differences: <a href="http://www.truthinaging.com/treatments/anti-aging-electric-current-treatments" rel="nofollow">http://www.truthinaging.com/treatments/anti-aging-electric-current-treatments</a>

  • August 9, 2012

    by Liz Hemler

    Hi Marta,
    Can you tell me how the ultra renew compares to tha aluma device used in Dr. Offices?
    Thanks,
    Liz

  • July 22, 2012

    by Marta

    Thanks Lesley! No Ultra Renew does not include infra red

  • July 22, 2012

    by Lesley

    Does Ulta Renew include infrared? By the way, this website is excellent. Thank you in advance for your reply.

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