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Skincare goes back to basics
Clockwise, from top left: Diane Higgins Artisanal Organic Cleansing Balm, Regenerating Facial Oil and Papaya & Pumpkin Masque.

In a world of chemical peels and harsh retinols, it's no wonder our face is more easily irritated than the Grinch. Luckily, we discovered Diane Higgins. The Upper East Side facialist has revived our worn-out skin with natural, remarkably effective products derived from her own upstate garden.

Don't let Higgins's tiny Lexington Avenue workspace fool you: It may not be the Ritz, but you'll be treated like a queen. We opted for her signature Ultrasonic Facial ($145), which uses a noninvasive vibrating machine to exfoliate and clean with distilled water. (Consider it an irrigation system for your pores.) Included in the treatment are two masks--an invigorating mint and a calming rose-petal--and a heavenly shoulder massage.

During our facial, Higgins also pampered us with her new line of plant-based products. We took home the Artisanal Organic Cleansing Balm ($44), a gentle blend of cardamom and lavender; the willow-bark-and-geranium Herbal Blend Astringent ($27); and the wildly popular Regenerating Facial Oil ($32), made with healing jojoba and rose hip.

With autumn drawing near, now is the perfect time to prep skin for cold temperatures and blistering winds--and if you've got Higgins in your corner, you'll be good to glow.

Diane Higgins, 1166 Lexington Ave. (at 80th St.); 212-288-7781 or

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