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Thanakha: Myanmar's ancient beauty secret.

Myanmar (Burma) is a special place with its own unique flavor and style, from the delightful Tea leaf salads to the fashionable longyi, Acheik (အချိတ်) or luntaya acheik. However, there is perhaps nothing more quintessentially Burmese than thanakha. Myanmar Thanakha is a medicine rooted in the Burmese history and culture and it used as a cosmetic and it is a natural make-up method using by everyone in Myanmar. The beige-yellow splodges, swirls and spots on cheeks and foreheads means one thing: you can only be in Burma (Myanmar).



What is thanakha?

Thanakha: သနပ်ခါး; is a paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. Thanaka is the name of a slow-growing tree that thrives in the arid central parts of Myanmar. It is widely said that the trees must mature for at least 35 years before becoming viable. The eponymous paste is made from grinding the bark against a flat, wet stone and then applied to the face. If there is one thing that makes you instantly recognize Myanmar, it is undoubtedly the thanakha, a kind of make-up worn by the women and children of Burma since 200 BCE which makes it somehow Thanakha Myanmar become a symbol of the nation.

One of the many surprises that every traveler encounters during their holiday in Myanmar is to verify that all the women have their faces covered with a yellowish paste, name Thanaka Myanmar. Burmese have been using this natural product for more than a thousand years and it is not surprising that the tradition continues since the science-proven benefits of this remedy are countless.


The Origin of Thanakha


The thanakha tree grows abundantly throughout central Burma. Although parts of the thanaka tree are used medicinally in other parts of Asia, it is only in Myanmar (Burma) that it is used cosmetically. The raw material for thanakha comes from specific trees such as Naringi crenulata and Limonia acidissima, colloquially known as wood-apple, sandalwood, elephant-apple, or curd fruit trees. Thanakha first was mentioned by King Razadarit of Burma and also, later have been recognized as a beauty secret of Burmese by the holy monk named poet Shin Maharatthasara. For 2000 years, thanakha has been a prominent part of the daily routine for every Burmese women. The preparations are laborious. In its solid state, the wood of this tree is sold in logs, never in the form of paste or powder. The trees’ branches are sawed into hand-size segments on farms and in forests. Then, at markets, temples, roadside stalls, and in homes, the thin layer of bark is scraped away for hours on small slate grinding stones. The end product looks like dry corn flour. Reconstituted with water and applied with fingers and sticks, it dries to a light golden crust on the skin. Delicate leaf patterns are a common thanakha style among younger users.


Benefits of Thanakha and why Burmese use Thanakha?


Thanaka is natural and is a gift from the nature, thats what Burmese believe. The Thanakha itself is contains two active compounds, coumarin and marmesin, which prove its medical effectiveness for anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-acne, and anti-aging issues. In addition, Thanaka is a good natural remedy for effectively removing dead skin cells and controlling excessive facial oil. Studies have also revealed that Thanakha inhibits tryosinase, the enzyme that triggers melanin synthesis and affects skin discoloration. Therefore, the regular use of Thanaka can help decrease melanomas activity and brighten your skin’s complexion.


By applying Myanmar Thanakha , help for a healthier skin and surprisingly removing the acnes from the face by circulating the blood in the blood cells. also, Thanaka is unbelievably protect skin from the sunburn. People in Myanmar use Thanakha since the early age and we all know that this natural remedy had a lot of good health benefit for our skin such as sunscreen, makeup and beauty, skincare for both day and night. Myanmar Thanakha is a yellowish paste made by rubbing a piece of damp Thanaka tree trunk at least 35 years old on a stone called Kyauk Pyin. Burmese people have used it for thousands of years to decorate their face and body and add properties to their skin. It is mainly used as a sunscreen but has many other uses:

  1. Skin refresher

  2. Anti-acne

  3. Antiseptic

  4. Moisturizing

  5. Regulates fat

  6. Reduces skin blemishes

  7. Cleaner

  8. Reduces marks and scars

  9. Anti-aging

  10. Antioxidant

Thanaka and 35 years old stone (Kyaunk Pyin)

Where to buy Thanakha?


As mentioned above, many travelers and even if you have not been to Myanmar yet, are always interested in to know where and how to order teh authentic and real Thanaka paste that is made in Myanmar. Where to buy Thanaka in Myanmar?, If you are already in Myanmar you can find it pretty much at every shop, specially in the tourist areas where travelers are visiting the tourist places, in big cities such as Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay you can even find it in your hotel, so buying it wouldn’t be a difficult task. If you are not lucky enough to travel to Myanmar where authentic Thanakha paste is produced, you can order it on our website.










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