By  on November 14, 2008

At the Biotique store in Delhi’s crowded Khan Market, marketing executive Neera Sodhi sniffs at jars of lotion with names like Saffron Youth Dew and Red Sandalwood Cream. “I prefer to wear natural products on my skin,” she says. “Most people here do.”


That preference means natural products are big business in India; many leading brands label skin care “herbal” or “ayurvedic.” Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old system of holistic medicine, has potent associations, taken as it is from Hinduism’s Scriptures. Adapting it to skin care means, broadly, using herbs, plants and minerals commonly prescribed by ayurvedic doctors, including neem, a leaf that is described as a toxin flusher, cleanser and blood purifier, and turmeric, said to be an antiseptic and skin softening agent.

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