Homegrown Beauty Care

You don’t have to look far to find a line of skin-care products that delivers gorgeous results.

Photo by Norma Lopez Molina

Some women like to brag that their favorite skin-care products come from France and cost more than the lease payments on their Escalades. That’s an indulgence few of us can afford, but it speaks to the lengths that beautiful people will go to stay, ah, beautiful.

The rest of us can go to Winter Garden.

That’s where skin-care expert Cherie Dobbs’ Prana SpaCeuticals are made.

Yep, right in our own backyard is a skin-care line that delivers the kind of results that some women are willing pay much more to get.

Dobbs’ Prana SpaCeuticals products feature natural, organic ingredients that are known to improve, soothe and enrich the skin, including shea butter, glycolic and hyaluronic acids, and grape seed and green tea extracts. Her line includes items that treat a variety of skin conditions such as acne, the signs of aging and sun damage, as well as moisturizing, cleansing and skin-protection products. I tried a couple of them, Resurfacing Micro-Therapy Powder ($50) and Natural Defense ($35), and both are worth bragging about.

The Resurfacing Micro-Therapy Powder was one of the more unusual facial care products I’ve ever tried: Compared to the grainy quality of most exfoliants, the super-fine consistency of this cleanser seemed too insubstantial to actually remove dead skin cells, but my skin looked brighter and fresher after the first use. After repeated use, my skin felt smoother and had fewer blemishes.

I used Natural Defense each morning for more than a month, and my skin never felt so soft and moisturized. Not only did it defend skin from the sun (it has an SPF of 25), it also prevented damage with antioxidants from botanicals and plant extracts. The interesting thing about this lightweight moisturizer was that it seemed to have long-term benefits.

Dobbs’ product line covers all the bases of skin care, from moisturizers to lip treatments to body lotions and scrubs. You can find Prana SpaCeuticals at The Spa at Shingle Creek Resort, The Sanctuary of Winter Park and Bella Lina Cruz Salon in Winter Garden. Or go online to


You Can Stomach This

If pregnancy is making you queasy, check out Psi Bands (pronounced “Sigh Bands”; psibands.com). Through wrist accupressure, the colorful bracelets relieve nausea for mothers-to-be with morning sickness. No drugs, no drowsiness. They’re also marketed to cruise-goers prone to seasickness and chemo patients to ward off upset stomachs. $14.99-$19.99 a pair at Whole Foods (wholefoodsmarket.com) in Orlando and Winter Park.

Chocolate: It’s Good for You (Seriously)

It seems that just about everything we love to eat is bad for us in some way, so it’s a real treat to find out that dark chocolate actually has some significant health benefits. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties believed to protect cells from damage. The main type of flavonoids contained in chocolate are called flavonols, and research indicates that flavonols can promote vascular health, including lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart, making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot, and reducing cholesterol.

Plain, ungarnished chocolate is best: Any tasty additions to the chocolate can increase the fat and calorie content, and processing, such as roasting, the cacao beans, can reduce (but not eliminate) the health benefits.

Keep all of this in mind when you’re thinking of what to buy as a Mother’s Day present. You’ll make a gift of dark chocolate easier for Mom to enjoy if she knows it’s
actually good for her.

—Denise Bates Enos

Mom, You Deserve This

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift that will show Mom just how much you appreciate her? Give her the Mother’s Day of Indulgence Package at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Spa by Guerlain (left). The package includes a choice of a 60-minute custom facial treatment or massage, plus a 60-minute pedicure and 30-minute manicure. While being pampered from head to toe, she can enjoy champagne and Norman Love chocolates. All that indulgence can be Mom’s for $270, including gratuity. waldorfastoriaorlando.com; 407-597-5500.


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