Slowing Aging With Calorie Restriction + Skincare

Since I was 16 years old I have been trying many different products on my skin. At first, I didn’t have much luck because most of the products I used either irritated my skin or caused acne breakouts.

The main reason I started to take care of my skin was for the acne I had (it was really bad.) Most of the time I relied on Aloe Vera because it helped calm and heal my skin without causing side effects.

Then in my early 20s and a friend introduced me to SkinCeuticals.

And since that time I’ve almost exclusively used this brand. I list all of the products I use at the bottom of this page.

My goal is to enhance the anti-aging effects of calorie restriction by protecting my skin and supporting collagen synthesis with proven ingredients.

CR not only helps retard biological aging inside the body, but it also helps the skin stay young.

Calorie Restriction + Skin Care | Aging Timeline 

36 Years and 8 Months


17 years old vs 34 years old


19 Years Old

When I turned 18 years old, I had already started to make changes to my diet. This was about 1 year into that change.

Although it was nothing drastic, it mainly involved replacing certain foods for healthier versions, cutting out sugar, cutting down on unhealthy snacks and drinking more water.

Naturally, my calorie intake decreased significantly and I was already losing weight (slowly) through increased activity and higher consumption of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and other healthy snacks.

During this time I also started going to the gym and lifting weights, doing regular cardiovascular workouts.

I wasn’t on serious calorie restriction at this point, but it was the first phase of my CR diet before I would take things up another notch when I turned 20 years old.

It was at 20 that things became more serious, and I began discovering CR Science, CR books and the CR Community in general. It wasn’t long after that I started this blog!


22 Years Old 

Here I am 22 years old and have been on ‘serious CR’ for two years. It was also the lowest weight I reached with a BMI of approximately 16.3.

Looking back, I think it was too extreme, but I learned a lot from the experience. Practicing such a high degree of CR wasn’t difficult, but it did prove difficult socially.

Aside from a few difficulties explaining to people what I was doing because people were worried about the weight loss, I felt amazing and all blood tests I had done showed that I was in extremely good health.

This photo was taken a little before I started to use high-end skincare products. I believe I was just using Aloe Vera gel on my skin and a few cheap store products for my eyes.


25 Years Old

Matthew Lake

Halfway through my 20s, I was getting a lot of comments about how young I looked. It seemed that through being strict with my diet and skin care, my skin improved hugely and I felt and looked as young as I did in my mid-teens.

Around this time people would think I was only around 16-17 years old.

My BMI at this point had risen to around 17, and I was thinking about going even higher to look better.

Not long after I slowed raised my BMI to close to 18 where it stabilized for many years.  But as I’ve gotten older, my metabolism has slowed, and so I was able to eat less but maintain higher body weight than when I was 20 or younger.

I also started growing my hair out longer a few months after this picture was taken!

28 Years Old

Matthew Lake

Getting closer to 30, after relaxing a bit on my diet, I started to pay more attention and be a bit more strict with what I ate again.

I lowered my calorie intake slightly and had already transitioned to a vegan diet after being a vegetarian for many years (2007).

One of the reasons for the change was due to evidence in people doing CR that IGF-1 is not reduced with high protein intakes. And although I’m not a perfect vegan, about 98% of the time my diet is vegan.

My skincare regimen wasn’t much different than it had been in previous years.

31 Years Old

35 years and 10 months old

My experience using Skinceuticals

During the first year of using CE Ferulic acid, any small amount of damage that I had, including light freckles, all cleared up on my face. My skin developed a nice glow and I began to receive comments on how good my skin after just a few months of consistently using it every day.

Since my skin reacted extremely well to the serum, I made it a staple of my skincare regimen and used it every morning. I used it around my eyes as well, even though it was not recommended for that. It was also only much later in my early 30s that I started to use eye creams.

After skin products failed, this one seemed to transform my skin within a year, but after that, there didn’t seem to be any further improvement.

Around 30 years of age and I picked up CF Phloretin. And as it didn’t contain Vitamin E, I also added in SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector. This combination was perfect and my skin lightened up a lot (perhaps a bit too much!), and it had vitamin E.

I finally saw some further improvement in my skin from this combination; and after that, it was simply about maintaining. Although, I still faced some issues with PIE (related to small blood vessels that look like red spots and aren’t actually hyperpigmentation).

If you want to know more about the difference between SkinCeuticals vitamin C serums, I published an article a while ago looking at CF Phloretin vs CE Ferulic, so check that out!

So anyway, the red marks have been gradually going away, but apparently, no skin cream or serum can speed up the process. But apparently, using a  laser is one of the most effective methods of destroying the blood vessels and clearing up red marks, so I may consider that in the future.

Other skincare products that I later introduced were Skinceuticals Eye Balm, AGE Eye complex, and Phyto Corrective Masque.

Anti-aging Skin Care | Morning Routine (2018)

Step 1: Neutrogena Complexion Scrub

Step 2: I apply CE Ferulic Acid

Step 3: I apply SkinCeuticals Eye Balm 

Step 4: I apply Blistex Lip Balm

In the summer I’ll use SPF cream when needed.

Anti-aging Skin Care | Night Routine (2018)

Step 1: Neutrogena Complexion Scrub

Step 2: I use a Konjac Sponge (green tea) to help with exfoliation before applying products 

Step 3: SkinCeuticals Resveratrol BE

Step 4: I apply AGE Eye Complex 

Step 5: Apply Blistex Lip Balm

If you’re interested in using vitamin C serum but aren’t willing to pay out for a premium skincare product, check out my review on inexpensive vitamin C serums.

Over the years I’ve taken photos here and there to see if what I was doing was slowing aging or even reversing it over time.

Unfortunately, many of the older photos, in particular, are not great quality, but they still appear good enough so you can have an idea of how I changed over time.

In animals, calorie restriction has been found to slow down skin aging, aging of hair and so naturally, we expect it to have similar effects in humans as well.

Some photos below are from digital cameras (albeit a bit old now), and webcams.

In the near future, I’ll be upgraded to a DSLR, so I’ll continue to take similar photos in higher detail. But for fun, here’s a compilation of photos I took on webcam over the years.

I have more photos of me before calorie restriction and after the diet which I’ll upload at a later date!

anti aging CR and Vegan diet


  • My bf is 43 and people still think he is a student when he walks around the university campus. And to my knowledge, he uses absolutely zilch products on his face. Some lucky men (and women) look like they are in their 20s for a very long time. My guess is that you are one of them. For an average 40-year-old woman those high-end serums will do nothing, unfortunately.

    • Hey 🙂 thanks for the comment.

      I don’t doubt that genetics plays an important role, I just think that a good diet, good genetics, and good skin care will be better than just one of them alone. How much better is kind of difficult to answer I think…

      I wouldn’t say they’d do nothing, but you also can’t expect miracles and suddenly be 10 years younger lol. When I started using vitamin C serum, I noticed the biggest improvement in the first year… after that, they seemed to help keep my skin nice and probably work more as a preventative than further improving my skin.

      There are also hormones to factor in. Women have sudden drop around that age, whereas testosterone declines much more gradually…

      There have been a bunch of clinical trials using the ingredients in these skin serums and have shown they can reduce lines, clear up hyperpigmentation, reduce sun damage, DNA damage etc. See comparison photos below

      Results from one year of using CE Ferulic + Sunscreen

      Clinical studies (including pictures) for Vitamin C

    • It’s because aging is the main cause of many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. It’s the cause of so much suffering and grief. It robs a person of their dignity and joy.

      80 years is so little time in the context of the age of the universe and how long it will go on for. Even the oldest human lived to 122, which is 42 years longer than most people live to today.

      I want to see the future: the development of technology, evolution of humans with technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, virtual reality, space exploration and discovery of new civilizations. I have so many interests, I cannot even imagine ever getting bored even with what I’m interested in today… and that’s not to say what I’ll be interested in later on as I learn more.

      Yes, we all age and get biologically older. But that will certainly change, it’s just a matter of time.

      Thanks for the question though! 🙂

  • Matt, You look like a girl, I mean that in a good way, I spoke to a guy online and he said he did CR for 4 yrs and said it does work, he had the skin of a teenage girl, bt after 4 yrs he started aging rapidly and stopped, he didnt getback to me when I asked what he ate or if he had lots of stress in that period, it makes me think about doing a blog of my own, Im not only interested in CR but Immortality of sorts, when the person asked you why, they simply don’t get it, some people are born to be an artist, a politician, a a ballet dancer and they KNOW what they want and its the same with us, its something we always wanted, just because the goal is not attainable it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it, life is a load of bollox, we pursue goals, accumulate wealth, kill ourselves in the process, for what?
    May I ask what you eat on a daily basis and do you take supplements?

  • You look young because you have a perfect head of hair into your 30s, and no facial hair growth. I’m sure calorie restriction has to do with it–I also practice calorie restriction and avoid meat, but if you look at Dr. Michael Gregor, he’s a lean vegan, but he’s not looking too young–because of hair loss.

  • You look good. When I see your photo, I can see myself when I was nearly all raw vegan for a few years. Now that I’ve turned into a junk food binge eating vegan, I feel like crap and I can see my body paying the price for my laziness. Finding your blog has been a slap in the face to me. Thank you.

  • Hi, Matt..

    Just discovered you. 🙂 I’m an ethical vegan (4 years next week), and am also intrigued by the CR lifestyle. I used to look into it now and then years ago. Have you ever seen the documentary with Michael Mosley and Valter Longo? (I think that’s his name). I think it was called, “Eat, Fast and Live Longer”. You can find it on YouTube if you haven’t seen it.

    Btw, I think you look amazing! 😃 I have a horrible skincare routine that usually consists of a splash of water, and if I’m lucky, a cleanse of astringent. I’ve gotten so lazy.😥 I’m 56 years young and can’t afford to be that careless. I’d love to turn back the hands of time.

    Incidentally, I have to disagree that aging is the main cause of disease. I would say what you eat is just as big a cause. I’ve known young people not much older than yourself who have died of heart attacks, and cancer is certainly not a disease of age. Unfortunately, anyone can get it. 😥 But I think CR and a plant-based diet packs an incredible one-two punch, and I think the way you look seems to reflect that, so keep it up!🙂❤️🙏

  • If you cover the basics and stay tuned for new advancements
    with a bit of genetics and luck you can make it.

    I’m doing fairly well myself. but my goals are in the stratosphere. be like chuando tan? yesir. make a blog about it maybe? good for the better part of humanity.

  • I find it interesting that, even though I am sure you are very slender, you have retained a certain youthful “fullness” in your face and in particular in your cheeks. One thing I have noticed about older (45+) people starting CR is that they actually “look” quite old because it is fat in the face that gives it that youthful fullness. You seemed to still have that in your face (which looks very nice, btw) even though I am sure your body is very slim.

    And then there is that hair. Seriously, you could be a hair model 🙂

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