Thanaka – Beauty Treatment of Myanmar Women (Tanaka)


If you have ever read some kinds of magazines or pictures about Myanmar, surely you have met the image of girls whose face is covered with a white powder which is known as Thanakha powder – a unique and traditional cosmetic of Burmese girls.

Most of the East-South Asian countries, even Myanmar are located in the tropical zone, the temperature remains relatively constant (hot) throughout the year. Therefore, many Burmese have dark brown skin because of the negative effect of harsh weather when working outdoors. However, their skin is always firm, smooth and rarely acne. The secret to this is that instead of using some kinds of chemical cosmetics, they regularly use Thanakha power.

The origin of Myanmar Thanaka powder

According to the earliest literary reference, Thanaka has been mentioned the first time in a 14th-century poem written by King Razadarit’s Mon-speaking consort. Besides, it also exists in the 15th-century literary works of Burmese monk-poet Shin Maharatthasara.

Once finding yourself on a Burma tour, you will wonder why the faces of the people painted white. This is a form of beauty treatments using natural ingredients called Thanaka.

Thanaka, or Tanaka, a mix-up with a creamy white gold, is made from finely ground bark. This is a typical practice of the people of Myanmar for more than 2000 years. To date, Thanakha’s make-up has become one of the traditional characteristics of Myanmar lifestyle and culture. In this country, women and girls thanaka applied to the face and hands. Some men also use thanaka, but not very common.

the origin of Myanmar thanakha

Benefits of Thanaka powder

Thanakha powder helps skin healthier by healing scars, removing acne and protecting from sunburn and providing the cooling sensation. Myanmar people use Thanakha as a multi-purpose cream, which has all the effects: sunscreen, makeup, skincare day and night. Moreover, It is also an anti-fungal, in which the active ingredients of thanaka are coumarin and marmesin. For these reasons, women in Myanmar prefer using this natural cosmetic rather than others, even men also like to use Thanakha.


Meanings of Thanaka powder

Burmese not only regard Thanakha powder as a beauty method but also help them avoid evil and bad luck. This type of powder is believed to bring good luck to those who use it.


The tree that used to extract the Thanaka Cream must be over two years old which is growing much in the center of Myanmar. To get the best quality pieces of bark, the tree must be at least 35 years. Myanmar Thanaka traditionally been sold as the stick. Once purchased, the people crushed the bark of white gold and apply the mixture to your face. Today we can buy this thanaka cream or powder form.

benefits of tanaka Myanmar

The use of Myanmar thanaka including makeup, skincare, skin cooling, sun protection, acne treatment. This is an anti-fungal skin.

Do not forget to “grab” the beautiful moments Thanaka has a chance to travel to Myanmar!










2 thoughts on “Thanaka – Beauty Treatment of Myanmar Women (Tanaka)

    • Wendy Pham says:

      Hi Chul Joo,

      Thank you for reaching to us. We have dropped a quotation for the allowance of using our photo for your company campaign to you already. Please check your inbox for the information.



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