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The trademark beauty of Indian women - a mix of sultry, seductive, innocent allure - has been admired, worshiped and celebrated through the ages. The secret?

There isn't one.

Instead, there are many. Over the centuries Indians have used nature's bounty to extract natural goodness from ingredients that are uniquely Indian. Here's a list to get you started.

Sandalwood - Indians believe that paradise is redolent with the fragrance of chandan or sandalwood, the sacred tree of Lord Indra. It isn't just the heady perfume that makes it exalted though, it's the benefits you get from this wonder ingredient. Sandalwood has a soothing, calming and cooling effect on the skin. It helps tame inflammations and acne outbursts. Sandalwood oil is an excellent emollient, it helps soothe and soften skin, so it stays hydrated longer. The strong and soothing scent of sandalwood also makes it a fine choice for various colognes. 

Saffron- Voluptuous, prized, extravagant, saffron has been a beauty ingredient of the royals for many centuries. It is also the main ingredient in kukumadi taliam - the saffron oil that is a one size fits all beauty elixir in Ayurveda.  A powerful antioxidant, natural sunscreen and lush moisturizer, the saffron in kukumadi taliam helps reduce blemishes and dark circles and improve skin texture. It works well as an agent to brighten the skin tone as well. Saffron can be used as a face mask treatment every week or even a toner. 

Roses -  Legend has it that Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu disagreed about which flower was the most beautiful - and it was only the sight and fragrance of Lord Vishnu's beautiful arbor adorned with hundreds of roses that could settle the argument. Indian rose blossoms are renowned for their inimitable fragrance and cooling properties. Distilled and pure rose water is also paving its way through top beauty brands due to the amazing benefits it has for the skin. It is soothing and anti-inflammatory.

Neem - The neem tree is truly a treasure in our own backyard. It's antibacterial quality is probably the secret responsible for the dewy skin and lustrous hair Indian women are celebrated for, globally. Face packs made with crushed these leaves help moisturize, soften and smoothen the skin, leaving it flawless. Neem helps kill bacteria and germs, and hence make it a fine choice to be used on inflamed or allergy-prone skin. They also help reduce blemishes and prevent the formation of forthcoming acne. 

Turmeric - Indian brides have experienced firsthand the transformative powers of haldi, this everyday beauty serum can rejuvenate and revitalize skin, keeping it radiant and fresh. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is invaluable in reducing the signs of ageing, and keeping skin glowing and beautiful. Another way to reap the benefits of turmeric is by making yourself a haldi-infused latte or a hot tea. The anti bacterial properties help improve immunity and clear the skin.

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