woman doing skincare

Almost all Burmese women use a paste made from thanaka to make up their faces every day. The stuff sounds exotic until you find out it's just a type of sandalwood tree found in the area. Its botanical name is “Limonia acidissima,” and it's also known as a wood-apple or elephant apple. 

To be large enough to be used as a paste source, the tree must grow for 35 years. If it’s the right age, it will be sliced into little logs where the paste-making powder will be derived from the bark and roots of the tree.

How effective is thanaka as a skincare product? Can you gain many benefits from its cosmetic properties? Read along to find out more about this marvelous paste and its benefits to your skin.

The Traditional Way of Making Thanaka Paste

You'll need a stone slab called kyauk pyin, a little water, and a piece of thanaka tree bark to produce your paste. The first thing you need to do is to wet the slab and rub the bark against it until you have a paste thick enough to put on your face. Keep in mind that it will appear liquid and colorless at first. However, it will turn a gorgeous golden tone once it dries on your skin

Because homemade paste only works well when it is newly created, it must be prepared before each use. It only takes a few minutes and a little effort to have enough paste for application.

How to Apply Thanaka Paste

Usually, you apply a thin coating of the paste to the entire face and neck, similar to how you would use a daily moisturizer. Then, apply a second, thicker coating to the portions of the face that are most exposed to the sun—the cheeks, nose, and forehead. The cheeks are typically stroked across with a paste-covered finger to create a thick layer in one motion. You can use brushes to apply the paste, but the most popular method is using a large leaf.

How Thanaka Paste Fares as a Skincare Product

Numerous studies on the effects of thanaka have been conducted, and scientists agree that the paste has a number of beneficial advantages. The thanaka paste is very valuable in sunny countries like Myanmar because of its high natural SPF. 

It is believed to protect the skin from the sun while also assisting in the relief of sunburn. Because of its many active components and therapeutic capabilities, this natural cosmetic is known for keeping the skin healthy and youthful. Additionally, it is both an antioxidant and a moisturizer.

It has Vitamin E that protects the skin from pollutants. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal. It also has tyrosinase, an enzyme that aids in the production of melatonin, which brightens the skin and enhances the complexion.

The Bottom Line: Modern Women Embracing the Thanaka Paste Tradition

Thanaka is used in Myanmar by people of all ages, socioeconomic classes, and ethnic backgrounds. It’s rare to find a Burmese woman who does not use this traditional cosmetic on a regular basis. If you want to sample the marvelous effects of thanaka on your skin, you may either buy a ready-made paste or thanaka powder or get a little wood log and make the paste yourself. They are becoming increasingly popular and can be found in shops throughout Myanmar's towns and cities, with brands like Healing Bark making it available worldwide.

Get your organic thanaka powder now! We at Healing Bark offer products for the face that help keep the skin clear and glowing with powerful anti-aging properties. Visit our website for more details!