skincare mask

It might be your first time hearing about this excellent product, but organic Thanaka powder has been around for centuries. What is in this organic mask, and why has it become popular in mainstream media?

What Is Thanaka Powder?

Thanaka or Limonia acidissima is a common tree widely used for medicinal purposes in Southeast Asia. It is more popularly known as sandalwood, applewood, or the monkey fruit tree. 

It is indigenous to Myanmar and has long been used as a cosmetic product by Burmese women for more than 2000 years. Whether for sun protection, skin decoration, or skin cooling, Thanaka has served its purpose for the Burmese for millennia. 

The fruit of this tree is exceptionally high in protein, minerals, and vitamins and is well used to make a local beverage. The concoctions are believed to treat digestive problems and other ailments.

How Is Thanaka Powder Sourced?

The organic Thanaka powder is sourced from the tree’s bark, which is then ground into fine powder. Before use, it is mixed with a small amount of water, which turns it into an opaque yellow paste. This powder is generally applied as an astringent, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-aging, cosmetic, acne-preventing, and sun protectant. 

Like numerous other medicinal plants, Thanaka’s chemical properties have been researched and found to contain two active ingredients: marmesin and coumarin. The presence of the latter supports its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It also makes it a good treatment for acne and other skin conditions.

Meanwhile, the presence of marmesin makes Thanaka an efficient Ultraviolet A (UVA) absorber compared with titanium dioxide, supporting why it’s also used as a sun protectant. Thanaka has also been found to have skin brightening properties due to the presence of arbutin.

How to Make a Thanaka Powder Mask

To make a mask from organic Thanaka powder, the easiest way is to simply mix one part Thanaka powder and just enough water to make a paste. This is the traditional way of making this mask and how the Burmese have long made it. 

However, if you want to add more ingredients into the mask to maximize its effectiveness, here’s a simple mask formula you can try:

Note: It makes enough for one application only.


Weight (g)

Percentage (%)

Thanaka Powder









Here’s how to apply an organic Thanaka powder mask:

  1. Weigh ingredients and mix together in a bowl. If no measuring scale is available, estimate according to percentage.
  2. Apply onto the entire face and leave on until it dries. Unlike most clay masks, Thanaka can be left on for ten minutes or more since it does not cause discomfort or irritation.
  3. Wash with warm water.

Once applied, Thanaka has a cooling effect on the skin and won’t make you uncomfortable when it dries. It can have a fragrant smell of sandalwood and washes easily once dried.


Thanaka has remarkable properties, making it a famous organic powder mask for the Burmese people and those outside Myanmar. It can be beneficial for protecting the skin against sun exposure and treating the skin against different skin conditions.

Healing Bark is your go-to source of organic Thanaka powder mask kits. Experience the ancient beauty secret of the Burmese with 100% natural Healing Bark products for the face that help keep the skin clear and glowing with powerful anti-aging properties.  Our 100% natural facial mask has been used to keep skin clear and glowing for thousands of years. Works on all skin types and faces! Get this ancient beauty secret today!