Natural Skincare That’ll Transport You to Provence or Vermont

fields of Provence courtesy of Viator

Oh you know me. I like a less is more approach to skincare. Give me natural products that work well and travel well—even if I may be staying put. A girl can dream, mais non? My current dreams take me to The Hudson River Valley, Vermont and France. And, I dream I have an outdoor shower. (Note to Editors: please don’t kill my wet dream joke.)

My annual Less is More Award goes to So Handy! Heavy Duty Hand & Foot Balm from Mo’s Tonic. This perfect package is great for travel totes and does so much with so little. This is as much a must-have for sandal season as Birkenstocks. I dip each heel directly into the pot. But why stop there- it’s great on elbows and not only softens paws but does a number on dry nails and cuticles. I use it at bedtime—the lavender oil has sedative properties—and wake up with the softest, sweetest feet. I also use a tiny dot, all you need, as lip balm. Mo’s Tonic hails from the Hudson River Valley, where I’d love to once again visit. It’s certified organic and includes avocado oil, hempseed oil, baobab oil, and sweet marjoram. This balm is scented with lavender & cedarwood, a combo that in my opinion has the power to send one off and away to a far better place.

Available: or take a road trip to Barryville and swing by the farmer’s market where you might meet Mo.

And speaking of far and away and better places—I’m talking Vermont. I haven’t been in ages but the gender-friendly, wonderfully effective super natural facial skincare products from Ursa Major take me there without that nasty business of having to drive. And yes, unlike many New Yorkers, I do know how. I was immediately drawn to the 4-in-1 Face Tonic, because you know me, any product that performs more than one job is the one for me. It’s an after-shave, a refresher (store in the refrigerator,) it’s the tonic that closes your pores post (outdoor) shower –and you can get it with bamboo squares to use it as face wipe when you’re on the go. It contains aloe and lemon juice – so maybe you can drink it too? The Face Wash with cedar, spearmint and lime also works well as an effortless, daily exfoliant. Just leave it on for a bit after cleansing and a new you is revealed poste haste. The Face Balm, with carrot, kendi (also known as candlenut oil,) and myrtle simply hydrates, nourishes and leaves your face feeling protected for whatever your day brings. If you do have an outdoor shower I implore you–stock it now with products from Ursa Major.


My favorite nation is France and I am a fan of L’Occitane products. Their latest line, Pivoine Sublime, is indeed sublime and therefore does deliver the French-ness I so desire. My Brooklyn yard currently features peonies that still have not bloomed so I am getting my fix of this lush and sensuous flower in the genius lip balm that comes with spf 25 (yeah!), skin perfector, perfecting mist and beauty milk. The floral scent is delightful– but the peony extract is a hard-working ally that works on a cellular level to visibly perfect your complexion. No hyperbole—your face will look as smooth and soft as a luscious peony petal.


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