Lara Butler, MD, is a Harvard trained board-certified dermatologist who specializes in aesthetic dermatology and skin cancer reconstructive surgery at South Shore Skin Center. Since moving to Hingham in 2016, Lara and her husband, Mason (a local veterinarian at Old Derby Animal Hospital) have become active members of the community. Lara is an active parent volunteer at both Wilder Memorial Nursery School and Hingham Nursery School, and also works with the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation.
Dr. Butler loves nothing more than beach days with her family and a good Sancerre. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, cares deeply for her friends, doesn't take herself too seriously, and has the most infectious laugh we've ever heard. She's also a darn good physician.
To know her is to love her.
Hingham, Meet Dr. Butler.
What is your favorite spot in Hingham?
Krigsman Yoga has become a favorite place of mine in Hingham. It has helped me stay centered personally and professionally and also connects me to the people of this town.
Since you are a physician and your husband is a local veterinarian, do you see signs from either of your children that they would follow in one of your footsteps?
In my kids eyes, getting to meet a puppy will always trump educating people about sun safety. They are definitely going to choose my husband’s job when they have to write about their hero in school.
What is your favorite restaurant/meal in Hingham?
Now that take out is our new normal I cannot get enough of The Green Light for a #2 smoothie with extra greens and a Moroccan salad bowl. So delicious every time and the positive vibes I get from visiting there always leaves me in a good mood.
What made you choose dermatology as a specialty?
I always wanted to find a profession that balanced my analytical and artistic strengths. Dermatology allowed me to use both left and right sides of my brain since it offered a field where I could perform both aesthetics and medically necessary procedures like Mohs surgery for skin cancer removal. Being able to alternate between aesthetics and medical dermatology is refreshing and the advances in technology in the field of aesthetics keeps me learning.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Music makes me happy. I always have music on in an attempt to keep the mood positive. I practice Yoga and Spin to keep my mind, body and skin healthy (getting your heart rate up improves blood circulation delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin). I love spending mornings at the beaches with a coffee in hand chasing after the kids (mornings avoid high UV index hours).
Now onto some skincare questions. What are the most requested cosmetic dermatology treatments from ladies in Hingham?
Women of all ages are focused on aging gracefully and seek out procedures that will allow them to enter one decade to the next with natural preservation. Noninvasive procedures like microneedling with PRP and laser resurfacing (Clear + Brilliant® and Fraxel® ) have become much more popular as people move towards "prejuvenation" in their 30's and 40's (think preventing rather than correcting). These noninvasive procedures improve the texture of the skin without dramatic changes or downtime. Neurotoxins (Botox®, Dysport®, Jeuveaux®, Xeomin®) and soft tissue augmentation with hyaluronic acid fillers (Juvederm® and Restylane ®) will always be popular since they give immediate results and prevent progression of aging skin. Subtle enhancements are key to successful treatments.
Do we still have to use SPF when we are indoors?
Yes! Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays pass through windows and can contribute to development of wrinkles and age spots by breaking down collagen and stimulating melanin. UVA rays also can contribute to the development of skin cancers. Blue light from screens also breaks down DNA and collagen production leading to wrinkles. Dr Butler recommends finding a sunscreen with zinc oxide, a natural mineral that provides a physical shield between your skin and the sun or blue light exposure.
Is there any specific order to applying our skincare in the morning & at night?
In the morning, after cleaning the face with cold water, Dr. Butler recommends applying an antioxidant serum to neutralize free radical damage from environmental stressors and blue light. Then she recommends using a hyaluronic acid rich serum for moisture retention followed by a broad-spectrum sunscreen. If you struggle with hyperpigmentation using a lightening agent with hyaluronic acid before your SPF can effectively minimize dark spots. Makeup, if you are wearing it these days, always goes on after sunscreen.
At night-time, after cleaning the face with an emulsifying cleanser (turns milky after application), apply a toner to balance the skins pH then retinol followed by a night-time moisturizer. For maximum glow, you can try alternating between retinol and glycolic acid if your skin can tolerate it. Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid) melt away dead skin cells to resurface and smooth things out. Retinols, on the other hand, work to re-epithelialize the skin from beneath the surface, increasing the enzymes that produce collagen and elastin reducing wrinkles and plumping the skin over time. Working them in together can be complicated because they can both dry out the skin, so you need to start slow (every other night with retinol for 2 weeks then add in glycolic acid as tolerated), focus on hydration and really tune into what your skin is telling you.
Do you have any skincare beauty hacks you would recommend while we are at home?
While we are spending so much time at home it is a good time to do hydrating masks for our face (or even our hands and feet). An ingredient to look for is hyaluronic acid which is often present in bio-cellulose masks. Avoid high concentrations of botanicals as these can cause irritation. If a mask is stinging it should be removed.
What are your cosmeceutical must-haves to come out of staying at home with a glow?
As a dermatologist I try to use products that are subjected to well-designed clinical studies to optimize results from my efforts.
1. Antioxidants: I can not live without my antioxidants since they help to brighten and lighten my complexion. I alternate between Skinceuticals CE ferulic and Revisions C+ Correcting Complex 30%
2. Hyaluronic acid (HA) serum: SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier has been proven to increase skins HA level by 30%. I also use this on my lips for an extra plump.
3. Moisturizer: Revisions DEJ Repair moisturizer is light weight and loaded with peptides and prebioitics that are great for daytime application before my sunscreen. For a splurge on a moisturizer Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore is proven to restore the skins barrier and correct signs of aging.
4. Alpha hydroxy acid: To boost my glow overnight I turn to Skinceuticals Glycolic 10 or Skinbetter AlphaRet® Exfoliating Peel Pads.
5. Retinol: I love SkinBetter Alpha Ret® Overnight cream as my nightly retinol since it is not as irritating as other retinoids.
6. Eyes: To help minimize the tired eye look I use SkinCeuticals A.G.E Eye Complex for dark circles which has optical diffusers to reflect light away and illuminate the eye area and caffeine to minimize puffiness.
7. Brightening: SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum has been clinically proven to lighten dark spots and even out skin tone so this is my go to brightener.
8. Masks: Patchology’s FlashPatch® Illuminating Eye Gels for a little help in the glow department. Baby Foot exfoliating foot peel allows for a healthy dose of exfoliation while we can’t get pedicures
9. Sunscreen: Elta MD UV Elements provides a lightly tinted chemical free UV filters with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid to protect and hydrate my skin leaving a radiant finish.
What else are we missing?
Don’t forget about your neck! Our necks are developing “Tech Neck” which refers to the wrinkles on the front side of your neck from repeatedly looking down at screens. Dr. Butler recommends starting Nectifirm® ADVANCED to combat the visible signs of aging on the neck and décolletage.
What are the next steps?
Once the medical spa is reopened at South Shore Skin Center your skin will be primed to have complementary procedures such as neurotoxins and soft tissue augmentation to soften lines, PRP with microneedling (“vampire facial”) to naturally plump the skin with an added glow, Chemical Peels or Intense Pulsed Light to clean up stubborn brown spots and broken blood vessels, and Fractionated nonablative laser therapy to further regenerate your own collagen to reduce wrinkles and pore size. Your skin care journey to glowing skin starts with a great home regimen and this will greatly complement any aesthetic procedures you may pursue in the future.
*For a discount on Revisions products, use this link and the code: PHY10
*For a special promotion with Skinceuticals, use this link.
Dr. Butler is accepting new patients at the medial spa in Norwell. For an appointment with Dr. Butler or one of her expert trained aesthetic nurses please call (781) 878-6495.