putting face mask

Skincare enthusiasts who actively search for natural products have been familiar with the wonders of thanaka paste. Thanaka is a Southeast Asian tree whose bark Myanmarese women use for their unique facial cosmetics for everyday sun protection and skincare. 

Because it may also be used as an insect repellent, it is utilized as a traditional cure to treat a variety of ailments. Thanaka extracts include a large number of bioactive chemicals with antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-melanogenic, and anti-microbial effects. 

Learn more about this all-natural skincare product that has been beloved by many for thousands of years in the sections below.

Overview of Thanaka’s History

For over 2,000 years, the yellowish powder pulverized from the thanaka tree bark has been utilized as a traditional skincare and cosmetic product by the people of Myanmar. 

The oldest recorded evidence of Thanaka use in Myanmar can be found in a poem composed by King Razadarit’s friend in the 14th century and the works of Shin Manaratthasara, a Burmese monk-poet, in the 15th century. 

After an earthquake in 1930, artifact evidence of the kyauk pyin or round stone slab was discovered in the ruins of Shwemawdaw Pagoda. This round stone slab is historically used to mill thanaka bark powder and is supposed to have belonged to King Bayinnaug’s daughter during his reign in the 15th century.

Others say thanaka’s history dates back over 2,000 years when the famous Queen Phantwar of Peikthano (an ancient Pyu city) fell in love with Thanaka. In Myanmar, the legend of Queen Phantwar is a popular bedtime story for children.

Thanaka as Part of Myanmar’s Culture

The use of thanaka bark powder is part of Myanmar’s unique culture, and people are happy to wear Thanaka paste. The paste is formed by mixing Thanaka powder with water. 

The Burmese ground the bark powder into a paste with kyauk pyin and water, which has a cooling effect and a sandalwood-like scent. People believe that the benefits of applying thanaka paste are responsible for the Burmese’s beautiful complexion. The traditional skin conditioner is thought to prevent acne, smoothen the skin, and provide sun protection.

The Burmese rub thanaka powder straight onto their skin as sunblock. This influenced thanaka skincare goods such as soap, loose powder, foundation powder, face scrub, body lotion, and face scrub. They are manufactured to benefit more people with natural sunscreen. 

Thanaka is also available as a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, acne spot treatment cream, and tone-up cream to fulfill consumer and market needs.

Commercialized Thanaka

Most manufacturers include active substances such as vitamins, collagen, and hyaluronic acid in thanaka-based products to boost the synergic impact and provide treatment for diverse skin diseases. 

Vitamins A, C, and E, collagens, 24-carat gold, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, turmeric, glutathione, jasmine rice, and pomegranate powder are all found in thanaka products that are healthy for the skin. 

It protects the skin from environmental damage such as pollution, improves its condition, and fights aging indications such as wrinkles and pigmentation. 

In addition, high-quality components like bamboo charcoal were used as an exfoliant, while kaffir lime and honey were used to boost the cleansing and brightening effects.

Some brands are enhanced with the aroma of flowers and herbs to make them more appealing to customers. A fragrance is usually added to a beauty product to mask the disagreeable odor of its ingredients. 


Natural plant materials with various benefits like thanaka have been widely used to replace artificial and synthetic chemicals for health and environmental reasons. This is because natural plant materials provide benefits such as antioxidant and antibacterial properties while also providing essential skin nourishment.

Get your thanaka powder mask at Healing Bark! We offer 100 percent natural products for the face that help keep the skin clear and glowing with powerful anti-aging properties. Visit our shop today!