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Our outlets will be closed from 26 Mar (Tue) to 27 Mar (Wed) for our annual team bonding event. We will resume operations on 28 Mar (Thu).

Dr Chen Kailun: Skin Tightening Treatments – Thermage FLX or Sylfirm X?

Thermage FLX or Sylfirm X for Skin Tightening Treatments

There are several non-surgical and non-invasive skin tightening treatments out there. One of which is Fotona 6D, a proprietary treatment developed by SL Aesthetic Clinic, and Sylfirm X, a microneedling treatment that not only addresses saggy skin but pigmentation too.

Contrary to popular belief, not all skin tightening treatments are the same as sagging occurs at different levels. You can read about the distinctions among the skin tightening treatments here.

While I will usually recommend Fotona 6D for overall face and neck lifting, some patients understandably prefer starting with more familiar names like Sylfirm X and Thermage FLX. In this article, I will discuss these skin tightening treatments and explore how they work.

Understanding Skin Elasticity

Skin elasticity is a critical factor in maintaining a youthful appearance. Ageing, environment and lifestyle choices, however, can degrade skin elasticity. Collagen and elastin fibres in our skin gradually break down, leading to sagging, wrinkles, and fine lines. Lifestyle choices and environmental factors can accelerate this process.

Fortunately, evidence based medical treatments can help restore and improve skin elasticity, making you look and feel rejuvenated. Two such treatments are Thermage FLX and Sylfirm X.

Thermage FLX

Thermage FLX is a non-surgical skin tightening treatment that utilises monopolar radiofrequency (RF) technology.

How it Works

Thermage FLX delivers monopolar RF energy deep into the skin’s layers. This energy effectively penetrates deep into the skin to heat the collagen-rich layers, causing them to contract and tighten. Simultaneously, the treatment stimulates collagen remodelling and the production of new collagen over time, leading to gradual skin rejuvenation.

Treatment Areas

Thermage FLX is versatile and can be used to tighten skin in various body areas, including the face, neck, eyes, arms, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. It is chiefly used to tighten crepey skin instead of heavy sagging.

Expected Downtime and Recovery

One of the advantages of Thermage FLX is that it has minimal downtime. Patients usually go back to their daily activities immediately after the treatment. Mild redness and swelling may be observed, but they usually subside within a few hours to a day.

Results and Timeline

Patients can expect initial improvements shortly after their Thermage FLX treatment, with continued skin tightening over the following months as collagen production ramps. It may take 2-3 months for the full results to become apparent, lasting up to a year or more.

Number of Sessions Required

While some individuals may achieve their desired tightening results with just one session, others may benefit from a series of treatments for optimal outcomes. Individual factors and treatment goals will be considered to determine the number of sessions required.

Advantages at a Glance

  • Non-invasive and minimal discomfort
  • Skin tightening for many possible treatment areas – face, eyes, neck, body
  • Very effective lifting and tightening results that lasts 1-2 years
  • Works on wrinkles and fine lines
  • Enhances skin texture
  • Minimal downtime

Sylfirm X

Sylfirm X is another skin tightening treatment that takes a slightly different approach. This treatment utilises a combination of microneedling and fractional RF to target specific layers of the skin.

How it Works

Sylfirm X’s technology allows for precise energy delivery to the deeper layers of skin through microneedling. This method triggers neocollagenesis, a process involving the production of new collagen and elastin fibres that eventually tighten and lift the skin. It also comes with dual wave modes, making it a very versatile treatment that can simultaneously address such as pores, scars, pigmentation and redness while tightening the face.

Treatment Areas

Sylfirm X is effective for treating sagging skin on the face, neck, eyelids and abdomen, making it suitable for individuals primarily concerned with facial rejuvenation.

Expected Downtime and Recovery

Like Thermage FLX, Sylfirm X treatments have minimal downtime, enabling patients to resume their normal activities after the treatment. Some redness or mild swelling may occur but typically resolves in 1-2 days. There may also be some very light peeling that may be experienced by some for 2-3 days as the skin regenerates.

Results and Timeline

Skin tightening results from Sylfirm X treatment become noticeable gradually as the skin’s collagen production improves. Optimal results may take 1-2 months to manifest fully, and the effects can last for 2-3 months.

Number of Sessions Required

The number of Sylfirm X sessions and frequency needed can vary based on individual skin conditions and treatment goals. It is recommended to do regular treatments every 1-3 months for the best outcome.

Advantages at a Glance

  • Minimal downtime
  • Skin tightening focused on facial, periorbital and neck rejuvenation
  • Versatile treatment that can also improve skin texture and pores, on fine lines, acne scars, pigmentation and skin sensitivity redness
  • Multiple concerns can be addressed at the same time
  • Excellent for improving pores and scars
  • Non-invasive and comfortable
  • Fast and convenient

The Importance of Skin Tightening Treatments

Skin tightening treatments like Thermage FLX and Sylfirm X offer several benefits. Besides improving sagging skin, which is otherwise irreversible with the ageing process, they can also improve other skin conditions such as wrinkles and stretch marks, boosting self-confidence and overall well-being.

Additionally, these treatments can help delay the need for more invasive surgical procedures, making them a viable option for those who prefer non-surgical alternatives.

Which do I choose?

Now that you better understand Thermage FLX and Sylfirm X, you may wonder which skin tightening treatment is right for you. The choice between these options depends on your specific concerns, treatment goals, and the areas you wish to address.

Choose Thermage FLX if:

  • You want to tighten and lift sagging skin on your face, eyes and body.
  • You want very significant lifting effects after 1 treatment.
  • You want a treatment with lasting results of 1-2 years.

Choose Sylfirm X if:

  • Your primary concern is sagging skin and fine lines on the face, eyes and neck.
  • You also want to address enlarged pores, pigmentation, acne scars, skin redness at the same time.
  • You are looking for a convenient regular treatment for maintenance every 2-3 months.

Are there steps I can take on my own to tighten my skin?

While professional treatments like Sylfirm X and Thermage FLX are effective for skin tightening, you may also want to complement these treatments with some steps you can take at home.

Resistance training

Resistance training has been proven to improve skin elasticity and thicken the upper dermal layer. As you engage in resistance training, the genes involved in collagen production become more active, improving your skin’s youthfulness at a cellular level.

Muscles also become firmer and more defined with resistance training, providing underlying support to the skin and reducing the appearance of sagging.

Other ways to support skin’s elasticity


Hydration improves the plumpness, suppleness, and overall health of your skin.

Furthermore, proper hydration is essential for synthesising and maintaining collagen and elastin. When your skin is well-hydrated, it can better produce and preserve these proteins, maintaining skin elasticity.

A nutrient-rich Diet

Maintaining skin elasticity involves consuming a diet rich in essential nutrients that support collagen production and overall skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep the skin’s lipid barrier supple and moisturised.

Lean protein sources, such as poultry and beef, contain amino acids required for collagen production, while fruits and vegetables carry vitamins and antioxidants that aid collagen synthesis.

Quality Sleep

A minimum of eight hours of sleep per day is ideal. A good night’s sleep directly impacts the appearance and health of your skin.

During deep sleep, your body goes through a natural repair and rebuilding process. Collagen is created during this phase, and sufficient sleep can help maintain your skin’s elasticity.

Skin Tightening Treatment in Singapore

Thermage FLX and Sylfirm X are suitable for skin tightening, but the choice depends on your treatment goals and needs. Sylfirm X is good for facial rejuvenation with the added benefits of addressing pigmentation, acne scars and wrinkles. Thermage FLX, on the other hand, enables you to tighten the face and due to its effectiveness can sustain results even if only done once a year.

While doing your own research is important, we highly recommend that you seek a professional opinion to decide between the two treatments. SL Aesthetic Clinic provides a range of aesthetic treatments, including Thermage FLX and Sylfirm X, and we’ll be happy to advise you

You can expect personalised consultations and treatment plans tailored to your requirements at SL Aesthetic Clinic. Consult us to determine which skin tightening treatment is ideal for you, so you can bid farewell to sagging skin.

Book an appointment now.

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