kids with thanaka

Have you ever wondered what the yellow stuff is that most Burmese women put on their faces? It is actually an ancient Burmese cosmetic known as thanaka. Both men and boys use it on their cheeks and forehead. In recent years, its use has spread to neighboring countries, especially around the border regions. Thanaka, a powder made from the tree bark of Hesperethusa crenulata, has been used as an acne treatment in Burmese culture for over two thousand years. The stem bark powder of Hesperethusa crenulata has been used on the face by women for over a thousand years as a skincare regimen. 

What many of you don’t know is that there are a slew of health benefits attached to Thanaka. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we discuss four notable health benefits attached to thanaka.

Natural Sunblock

Thanaka is nature’s sunscreen in its purest form. For centuries, Burmese women have been using thanaka to protect and beautify the skin. First, the ground thanaka bark is mixed with water on a flat stone until a paste forms and can then be applied to the face as a sunblock. It acts as both a physical and chemical barrier against the sun.

Vitamin E

The Burmese beauty secret thanaka is a nutrient-packed paste that contains vitamin E. Vitamin E protects the skin against polluted air and free radicals, the unstable compounds that damage cell structure. In addition to being an antioxidant and antibacterial agent, it also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for skin health. Moreover, thanaka acts as a moisturizer and has hydrating and cooling effects, making it ideal for post-sun exposure. It also contains tyrosinase inhibitors, which can suppress melanin synthesis and skin discoloration. Therefore, you can use thanaka for a healthier complexion.

All Natural

By utilizing thanaka as an active ingredient, you can take part in traditional practices. But simple solutions come from going back to the basics, and a healthy community depends on collective learning, which can enhance our connection to the planet. By using thanaka, we are working with nature, rather than against it. It really can be that simple.

Environmentally Friendly

Thanka allows you to avoid using zinc. You might be wondering why less zinc is beneficial, as most sunscreens already use zinc as the active ingredient. The reason is that the process of mining zinc is damaging, as it often requires clear-cutting forests. By using thanaka, a product from nature, we can use a more sustainable ingredient to reduce our environmental impact. While this isn’t a health benefit per se, we’re sure many of you are glad that the health and beauty products you’re using have a minimal effect on the environment. 


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you gain a better understanding of the benefits of using thanaka. As you can see, thanaka is not only good for your skin but is also great for limiting your negative impact on the environment. 

See the amazing effects of Thanaka in action when you try out Healing Bark’s organic Thanaka powder mask kit. Enjoy this all-natural facial that cleanses, soothes, clarifies, and balances even the most troubled skin types. Add it to your cart and buy now!