Myanmar ancient beauty secret – Thanaka powder

Thanaka is a wonderful facial base powder that is purely made from 100% organic and natural Asian tree wood and bark which is the Limonia acidissima tree. This tree is the only species in the monotypic genus Limonia that are found in Myanmar/Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Java and Pakistan. It has a variety of names such as wood-apple, monkey fruit, elephant-apple, and curd fruit and different names in the languages of its native area.

The wood and bark has been used extensively by Burmese women as a natural cosmetic, sunscreen, anti-ageing, and insect repellant since the ancient times. Thanaka is a unique feature of Myanmar. It is a cosmetic paste that is a yellowish-white color. It’s made from ground bark and contains 2 active ingredients, coumarin and marmesin. Coumarin is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, phytochemical, and an anti-ageing and anti-oxidant agent. This ingredient has the ability to remove all kinds of fungi and bacteria present in the human skin while strongly producing two major proteins, collagen and elastin. These proteins revert premature ageing that keeps skin young looking, supple, and elastic. The marmesin ingredient act as a shield of skin from harmful UV-B rays, which is the cause of the increase production of melanin in our skin that results in skin freckles, discoloration, and even skin cancer. It also naturally protects the skin from harmful UV-A rays that diminishes both skin moisture and proteins which causes premature ageing, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Thanaka cream is made from the wood of several trees that grow widely from central to north Myanmar. The cream is made by grinding the wood, bark, or roots of a Thanaka tree then a small amount of water is added on a kyauk pyin, a circular stone slab that has a canal around the top edge for the water to pass into. Thanaka trees are perennial and it must be at least 35 years old to be considered mature enough to crop good-quality cuttings. In the natural state of Thanaka, it sold as small logs in bunches or individually and nowadays it is already available in powder form.

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