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There are plenty of Southeast Asian skincare ingredients that deserve the spotlight, and the traditional Burmese Thanaka is one of them. Produced from the Hesperethusa Crenulata trees that are indigenous to Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, and the like, Thanaka has been incorporated into cosmetics and skincare for so long.

Thanaka has had an abundant history, from being used by royalty to being described in Burmese songs. Its continuous use to this day is just a testament to how effective and good it is. If you want to learn more about Burmese thanaka, continue reading this outline.

Thanaka Harvesting

As mentioned, Thanaka comes from a specific type of tree called Hesperethusa Crenulata. It may also be referred to as Limonia acisdissima, which stands for sandalwood or curd fruit, but it can be simply referred to as a Thanaka tree. The harvested plant is referred to in different terms depending on the place, though. For example, those in Malaysia may call thanaka as belingai.

Harvesting commences after a Thanaka tree has finally aged for 35 or so years, with the wood and bark taken out. Afterward, this is ground into a powder with the use of a stone slab. Its flat and circular composition, as well as the technique of which the Burmese use ensures that the powder is finely milled.

Thanaka Application

Powder thanaka isn’t used on its own but mixed with water to make it more diluted, changing it into something more of a paste. Having this consistency makes it easier to maneuver and apply to the skin, using either a finger or a brush to put it on. The skin is able to easily absorb this solution.

Most people smear the Thanaka paste on the T-zone of the face, which consists of the forehead, cheeks, and nose. There are also some who apply the thanaka just all over the face, as well as other parts of the body like the shoulders and arms. Both men and women do take advantage of thanaka paste. 

Thanaka Benefits 

Speaking of advantages, thanaka paste features plenty of benefits for just about any user. One of its main benefits is adequate sun protection, strengthening the skin’s barrier against sunlight. This is mostly thanks to a specific component in thanaka called Marmesin, which absorbs any harmful UV rays.

Other perks of Thanaka also include:

  • Anti-Inflammatory. Thanaka presents strong anti-inflammatory activity when assessed in the past, reducing nitric oxide as much as possible. This feature makes thanaka incredibly helpful to those with acne-prone skin. 
  • Anti-Oxidant. Thanaka also contains antioxidant properties, thanks to the Marmesin that Thanaka has. Coumarin is also an active ingredient within Thanaka that helps in fighting bacteria and keeping the skin nice and healthy.
  • Anti-Aging. Thanaka provides wonderful anti-aging benefits as well, also due to Coumarin. This part of Thanaka can improve collagen and elastin production in the skin, keeping it youthful and free of any developing lines.
  • Conclusion

    Thanaka is such a key ingredient when it comes to cosmetics and skincare, acting as quite the game changer when it comes to SPF. Learning more about it and the process behind it can help us appreciate this component and take advantage of it.

    Interested in getting thanaka products? Healing Bark offers 100% natural Burmese beauty and skincare products that keep your skin clear and glowing. Order yours today!