If you've ever explored Myanmar, it is a given that you will run into so many exotic things about the country. Some will definitely intrigue and excite you, while others might leave you a little scared or outright terrified. Regardless, one of these exotic things that you can truly be amazed about is "Thanaka." Thanaka is a paste with a bright yellow color that is usually applied on the face by many Burmese women.

This, of course, will spark curiosity in you. What is Thanaka? Why do Burmese women apply it to their faces? Well, let's talk about it and more!

What Is Thanaka?

Thanaka is a paste that is produced from tree bark and other ingredients as well. For example, it's usually made from a paste of ground bark of trees, which is then applied to the face.

The most common bark that is used to produce Thanaka is the bark of the Arak or Teak tree. The bark is boiled and dried by the sun until it becomes a coarse brown powder. However, the drying process varies according to village tastes and preferences.

Why Do Burmese Women Use Thanaka?

Burmese women use Thanaka as an all-over body and face sunscreen and skin whitener. It's believed that the active ingredients in Thanaka have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that help with acne and other skin conditions.

Those who live in rural Myanmar use Thanaka as a skin protector from the sun and as a natural skin tanner. The Burmese believe that seeing a person with tanned skin is a sign of wealth and prosperity. It's further believed that a person with tanned skin is healthier and has a better complexion.

Is Thanaka Good For Your Skin?

So, is Thanaka good for your skin? The answer is yes, if you are going to use it in the right way. As mentioned, Thanaka has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that can help treat skin infections and reduce oiliness.

The application of Thanaka paste also helps improve blood circulation to the skin, thus keeping the skin healthy and glowing. It also helps to prevent skin irritation and inflammation, which is especially good for those suffering from atopic dermatitis. 

In addition, Thanaka is also known to have sun-protective properties, which is a great reason for those people living in countries with a tropical climate to use Thanaka. It helps prevent sun-induced skin irritations, such as burns, skin cancer, etc. It can even act as a moisturizer, hydrating and cooling your skin after it is exposed to the sun.


Thanaka is one of the many interesting and exotic things about the country that is worth exploring and experiencing. It is a great souvenir to bring home, but more importantly, it's a wonderful cultural experience that you can never gain from simply reading about it. So, if you want to enjoy its benefits, be sure to bring some along with you. Otherwise, you can purchase products that contain Thanaka to enjoy the wonderful benefits it has to provide!

Healing Bark offers 100% natural products for the face to help the skin feel and look young, clean, and clear. If you want to purchase Thanaka paste and more, check out what we have for you!