HIFU vs Fractional Rf, What Is the Best Treatment for You?

  • Updated August 29, 2022
  • by Honey Seida
HIFU vs Fractional RF Skin Tightening

The hard truth is that when we reach the age of 25, our body's collagen production process starts to slow down. In fact, collagen levels can decrease by up to 2 percent each year we age. Lifestyle and genetics are the two main factors that determine the extent of this drastic reduction in collagen levels.

Fortunately, though, there are safe and effective treatments you can use to achieve youthful, firm skin using HIFU (High Intensity Infrared Ultrasound) and RF (Radio Frequency). But when it comes to HIFU vs Fractional RF, the real question is which one is better and which one you need.

HIFU vs RF  

HIFU and RF are non-surgical, non-invasive skin tightening treatments that heat the skin to induce a collagen regeneration reaction in its deeper layers. Although they both tighten the skin and reduce the number of wrinkles, they use different technologies to do so. Therefore, one method may be more suitable than the other for an individual.


Although both RF and HIFU serve the same purpose, the two methods are completely different, and whether to use one or the other largely depends on the results you want to achieve. We have listed the key points of difference to clarify each process and help you to choose the treatment that best suits your needs.

Suitable for Body sculpting, Wrinkles and pigmentation, sagging, lifting, and tightening of the skin Wrinkles and pigmentation and lifting the skin
Technology used Ultrasound energy - deeper than RF radio frequency Radio frequency
  • Natural Treatments - they stimulate your body's own collagen production mechanisms
  • Non-surgical, non-invasive skin tightening
  • Natural Treatments - they stimulate your body's own collagen production mechanisms
  • Non-surgical, non-invasive skin tightening
Depth It goes deep into the dermis and beyond and can reach the muscle layer. It focuses on the epidermal layers (the first layer of the skin).
Number of treatments It depends on each person, but you need four to six-week intervals between each session – 1 session may be enough in most cases Once or twice a week until desired results are achieved – at least 3 sessions of treatment are required
Durability of Results 1 to 3 years 1 year

Which Is Better? RF or HIFU?

HIFU and RF use different technologies to heat the deep tissues of the skin. Skin tightening with HIFU delivers more precise and intense ultrasound energy to the SMAS layer, while RF works based on a bulk heating strategy.

HIFU goes much deeper into and beyond the dermis and can reach the SMAS layer. RF cannot go as deep as HIFU. Fractional RF focuses on the layers of the epidermis and does not go beyond the deep dermis. This is why HIFU is considered to be much more effective than RF.

HIFU can be performed as a single-session treatment, but RF may require multiple sessions. The exact number of sessions required for each of these treatments depends on the type of device used and your skin conditions, and your genetics.

HIFU advantages over RF

The use of ultrasound energy in beauty procedures is a relatively new practice. While in terms of facial beauty rejuvenation and skin tightening, RF has been around for a long time.

Read more: HIFU vs Botox

How to Choose Between HIFU and RF

As we age, our skin will begin to show a combination of signs including sagging, wrinkles, and hollows. Although each person's aging process is always unique and should always be considered individually, the following guide explains how when it comes to HIFU vs Fractional RF, which treatment may be better suited for different types of issues?

Skin Tightening

HIFU is the best choice because it tightens the SMAS layer of the skin, which reverses the process of sagging. HIFU helps to tighten loose skin around the neck, remove a double chin, or lift the eyebrows. In addition, HIFU can get rid of excess fat and tissue that worsens the sagging effect.

Volume Reduction

RF is a less intense method that does not penetrate tissues as deep as HIFU does, and as such can be a better choice for volume reduction or treating delicate areas such as the lower and upper eyelids. Therefore, if you do not have loose skin, but have lost volume in your face, you can choose RF. RF tightens the skin, but also creates a volume effect, especially in the area around the mouth.

Removing Wrinkles

Both HIFU and RF boost collagen production and accelerate skin tissue regeneration. Therefore, both are effective in treating wrinkles and fine lines. Choosing the best way to treat signs of skin degeneration depends on how old the skin is and the area you want to treat. Deep lines and wrinkles should be addressed with HIFU because RF does not target the depth of the SMAS.

Read more: 4D vs 7D HIFU

Final Word

Both RF and HIFU reverse the aging process, but cannot stop it altogether. Both HIFU and Fractional RF have the potential to restore your skin's firmness, but your skin will continue to age anyway. However, not all the changes we see in our faces are due to inevitable aging. Many of them are the result of our lifestyles and environmental factors such as sun damage, smoking, allergens, toxins, stress, pollution, pesticides, and some others.

The best person who can finally determine which treatment is right for you is a doctor and a therapist. So, if you are still in doubt when it comes to HIFU vs Fractional RF for skin tightening, you can definitely benefit from some quality consultation time.


Which is safer HIFU or RF?

Both HIFU and Fractional RF are completely safe procedures.

Can I use HIFU and RF together?

Yes, but you cannot try them together at the same time and will need a combination therapy plan.

How many sessions of HIFU do you need?

It depends on your needs and expectations. This procedure can have long-lasting results, but some people may benefit from additional treatments. However, most clients see effective results after just one treatment session.

How long will it take for me to see the results of HIFU?

You should see results within the first 20 days (about 3 weeks) after treatment. These results will continue to improve in the following weeks.

Does RF have side effects?

Radio frequency is completely safe. The new RF technology does not cause any side effects other than temporary pain.

Is ultrasound or radio frequency better for skin tightening?

HIFU is more effective as it can reach deeper layers of the skin and needs fewer sessions of treatment compared to RF to achieve results.

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