The Thanaka tree is a Southeast Asian native. It is found in abundance in the soils of Myanmar, which is still known as Burma. When the stem of this perennial tree is pulverized and combined with water, it produces a light-yellow paste with a wide range of uses, from sun protection to skin beautification.

Thanaka may be traced back to Myanmar's beginnings. The Queen of Beikthano, one of Myanmar's oldest towns, has been a major lover of Thanaka and applied it every day on her skin.

When the famed Shwemawdaw pagoda was demolished by a major earthquake in 1930, evidence of Thanaka usage was discovered. A circular slab used for grinding Thanaka wood was discovered buried in the wreckage and later donated as a relic to a pagoda.

Reasons Why Thanaka Is Beneficial to Face and Body 

From March through April, Myanmar's tropical monsoon environment may be scorching. As a result, Burmese people apply a protective coating of Thanaka—an all-natural sunscreen—over their cheeks, forehead, and occasionally from head to toe. 

The astringent characteristics of Thanaka help with greasy skin and include menthol, which is cooling and calming.

Each sort of application has its own set of terminology to describe it. "Thanaka chi zoun gaung zoun" refers to slathering the paste all over the body for a soothing and cooling effect. Applying it in circular or striped patterns is known as "thanaka bé gya." Artistic geometric designs and leaf patterns may also be created using paste.

How Thanaka Paste is Made and Sold: From Plantation to Extraction

Central Myanmar's soil is rocky and arid. Thanaka trees may grow in abundance on this arid terrain and humid Burmese woods, Malaysian islands, Cambodia, and portions of Thailand.

Thanaka trees, like other plants, begin small and develop to be huge trees. Depending on the soil richness, the tree can reach a height of 7 to 9 meters.

The fact that the slow-growing trees must mature for 35 years (minimum) before being considered acceptable enough to take down makes Thanaka powder distinctive. Local people who specialize in wood cutting carve them.

Smaller logs are sold unprocessed in open Myanmar marketplaces, while larger logs are processed into powder in industrial plants. Thanaka vendors believe that daily sales of the bark paste are worth millions of kyat, providing a wonderful chance for poor Myanmar market sellers to stay afloat.

Next, the barks are rubbed and crushed on the "kyauk pyin," which has a convenient reservoir surrounding the stone ideal for collecting the mixture's beneficial fluids.

Thanaka is now available as pastes and creams for simplicity of application. On the other hand, many Burmese women want to follow tradition to maintain their purity.

Thanaka's Benefits As Backed by Science

For many years, Thanaka's therapeutic qualities were beliefs and suppositions. However, several studies have since been conducted to demonstrate the advantages of coumarin and marmesin, the main constituents in Thanaka.

  • Fights Free Radicals: Thanaka paste is a powerful antioxidant that aids in the reduction of environmental stresses that accelerate skin aging.
  • Helps to Slow Down the Aging Process: Coumarin comes to the rescue once more! This potent substance claims to keep skin looking younger for longer.
  • Increases Collagen and Elastin Synthesis: Studies suggest that coumarin boosts collagen and elastin production in the skin.
  • Indicates Anti-inflammatory Properties: Researchers observed that Thanaka inhibited the generation of nitric oxide (a free radical) in an in vitro experiment, indicating potent anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Reduces Hyperpigmentation: Thanaka's skin-brightening benefits derive from its capacity to suppress tyrosinase, an enzyme that causes melanin formation, which may enhance dull and uneven skin tone.
  • Serves As Protection to the Sun: Marmesin, another active component in Thanaka, has been demonstrated in research to have a useful UV-A filtering effect.
  • Treats Acne: Coumarin is responsible for Thanaka's moderate antibacterial properties, which may help to prevent bacterial development and treat acne.


Because of its skin-tightening characteristics, Thanaka paste benefits on inflamed skin and is used in many handcrafted soaps and bath bombs. It is also wonderful for leveling out skin tone and calming stressed skin. Start with skincare products created with Thanaka if you need to take a break from your hectic routine and pamper your skin.

Healing Bark offers Thanaka paste if you want to experience this ancient Burmese beauty secret. Shop with us today to get that beautiful-looking skin!