Look Good

Dr Helen Marsden on how to fight the signs of ageing through the decades

In skin terms, the ageing process can start as early as 20 – here Dr Helen shares how we can nip wrinkles, volume loss and dullness in the bud...

Written by Dr Helen Marsden
Published 25.09.2021

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By Dr Helen Marsden 

Looking after our skin properly can seem complicated with the many, many different products, treatments and advice available to us now. And, in skin terms, the ageing process can start as early as 20. 

Pretty early, right? That’s why we need to prepare ourselves with the simple, most basic principles of how we can best protect and repair our skin at any age –  as well as how we can pre-empt the ageing process through the decades of our lives to prevent signs of ageing in our skin. 


When it comes to our skin, there are many factors that we can influence and, unfortunately, others that we can’t, (none of us can choose our genes!). Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause premature skin ageing – but the good news is that we can take action against these two factors.

Those who have read my articles before will have heard me talk repeatedly about protection against UV sun damage. The sun is probably the biggest factor in premature ageing. The most important factor in your skincare regime has therefore got to be a good quality SPF. In Winter SPF 30 is ok, but in the Summer SPF 50 is needed. Don’t rely on SPF in your foundation and make sure you apply enough, especially around the eye area and above the top lip – areas which are commonly forgotten and prone to ageing. All year round, all day every day, I use Synergy 6 SPF 50. This is a super, award-winning 3-in-1: a lightly tinted moisturiser, with the best skin protection. 

Smoking also significantly speeds up the ageing process. As well as causing skin (and other organ damage), smoking causes excess wrinkles and a dull, sallow skin tone. 

Cleanse twice daily. I’d recommend pHformula’s E.X.F.O cleanse – an absolute hero product which replaces the need for exfoliation and toner. Ask yourself why you are scrubbing your skin and what you’re gaining from using a toner. Products may smell nice, but are they actually benefitting your skin?

And, of course, it goes without saying that a diet rich in plant-based foods,  avoiding excessive alcohol and drinking lots of water is always going to help. We can’t be perfect all of the time, but we can keep trying!


There is so much variation from person to person and the above principles all apply. Hopefully, most of you will be lucky and get away with a simple cleanse, moisturise and SPF routine. For those slightly less fortunate, you may just be starting to notice changes to your skin and begin to see the first signs of lines and wrinkles.  

If you have any skincare concerns, it’s important to target them specifically. For example, if you’re skin is looking full, add in high-quality vitamin C; for breakouts, it would be retinol; for dryness, try hyaluronic acid (HA). 

It’s becoming increasingly common for younger women (and men) to invest in their skin with preventative treatments – such as wrinkle relaxation injections and skin resurfacing treatments – as well as high quality skincare at home. Injectable aesthetic treatments in your 20s are usually to enhance features or prevent the earliest signs of ageing, such as wrinkle formation.


Much of the same is true. Generally, skin can be more settled – but this isn’t always true. Volume loss may be starting to show; there may be pigmentation changes occurring and life’s stresses and strains can often show themselves with a dull and sallow complexion. 

Banishing the first few wrinkles becomes a growing concern in our 30s for many, the aim being to get rid of any wrinkles before they form deep creases in the skin at rest – or what we call ‘static lines’. Static lines are harder to banish than the eary wrinkles, as deep creasing is a scar in the skin. 

A popular injectable treatment in the 30+ age group is tear trough filler. This fills the hollows to remove the shadows and dark circles below the eyes.

Targeted skincare also becomes more important and retinol starts to play an increasingly important role in anti-ageing. 

In your 30s is also the time when more people start investing in good skin treatments, such as WOW fusion (microneedling and personalised mesotherapy).


Most people will not escape the signs of ageing at this point in their life and many chose to embrace a preventative approach. The most pronounced age-related change is volume loss in the cheek area just below the eyes. Many, if not most people, are likely to benefit from restoration of the cheek and mid-face volume loss in their 40s. The mid-face is responsible for supporting the under eye area and is also vital to lift the lower face. Often, little and subtle  ‘tweaks’ are all that is required to rejuvenate the face and maintain a totally natural look. 

Probably the most popular treatment for those over 45 is Profhilo: the injectable treatment that has taken the world by storm. It stimulates your own collagen and elastin production to give a tightening and brightening effect and glowing, healthy-looking skin. This is commonly used in the face and neck, but can also be used to tighten most areas of skin laxity, including the inner arms and on stretch marks. 

High-quality skincare also becomes most important now. Avoid heavily scented products that smell divine and sit on top of your skin. pHformula and other prescription-grade skincare products have been proven to deliver real, noticeable change to the skin. Personally, my hero products (at 48) are E.X.F.O cleanse and A.G.E. Recovery, both from pHformula, as well as Synergy-6 Tinted Moisturiser with SPF. Honestly, my skin has never felt so good. I also have regular Profhilo. 


As volume loss increases with advancing age, we start to see see sagging in the lower face with nasolabial and marionette line creasing, as well as sagging and jowl formation. Volume loss is multi-layer across bone, fat and muscle layers. 

My cheek and mid-face restoration treatments always reflects this multi-layer loss with a multi-layer approach to volumisation. Volume restoration can be used to banish nasolabial and marionette creases, and can also be used to define the jawline and reduce the appearance of jowls. 


While these guidelines are helpful to nip any signs of ageing in the bud through the decades, many of the treatments and recommendations I’ve made here are applicable to any age. 

Targeted skincare is key to dealing with concerns such as ageing, dullness or pigmentation. Speak to Dr Helen about the pHformula skincare range, as well as the in-clinic treatments she offers at Dr Helen Marsden Aesthetics. 


The art of anti-ageing treatments, subtle skin rejuvenation and facial restoration is something that Dr Helen pride herself in and has a real passion for. 

Having studied medicine in London and worked as a GP for more than 15 years before specialising in medical aesthetics, now Dr Helen’s wealth of experience and expertise is dedicated towarded rejuvenating you. She offers wrinkle relaxation treatments, lip fillers, treatments for chronic migraines and excessive sweating, and pretty much everything in between. 

Passionate about the safety of her patients and about getting fantastic results for them, Dr Helen combines her decades of medical and aesthetics training with the finest skincare products to bring the best and safest holistic care to the North East. 

And the key challenge Dr Helen can help you overcome is to receive an ‘invisible treatment’ – or, in other words, to have targeted skin restoration or rejuvenation that everyone will notice, but which no-one will know has come from an aesthetics clinic! 

For more information, visit Dr Helen’s website, Facebook page or Instagram 

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