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Thanaka, Myanmar 

Alhea Houtman 

Thanaka?

Thanaka is not food! Thanaka is one of the most interesting beauty products that I have ever tried, it is a natural product! This Thanaka beauty product is a cream where the majority of the population in Myanmar, Women are using this product. This cream is made from tree bark, therefore it is not the log that they’re taking it from, they’re taking the skin from the tree bark. In this case, they usually grind them with water and it will leave this liquid or cream, then they’ll put it on their face. The majority, they use it only on their cheeks. It is more like a paste rather than a cream, in fact! This paste is usually used for a Sunscreen to protect it from the sun, also to get healthier skin. 

 

What’s interesting is that this is like a face mask. Therefore, as you put the paste onto your face you have to wait for it to dry, but as you put the paste on your face it constantly will dry :) On the other hand, it wouldn’t be toxic or it wouldn’t go wrong if you put it all day. The first couple glimpse of entering Myanmar, we’ve seen the majority of the people having thanaka pasted on their cheeks. Gemma and I were a little bit curious because at first, we thought it was some kind of a beauty standard but after a couple of glimpses, later on, we saw a couple of men and little boys using Thanaka too. 

Therefore, we were a little confused at the time. But then our lovely friend… Soe, he explained to us that Thanaka is usually used for Skin Care or Sunscreen most of the time, but I don’t usually see men who use Thanaka. But the majority of the time I see women and little children who're using this Thanaka, all over the face as in a face mask or just big circles around their cheeks. I was still confused because women also use Thanaka on top of their makeup, they also create two circles on his cheeks! So it was a little bit confusing to me, but now I know.  Hence, you definitely should try the Thanaka! A lot of people think that Thanaka is originally from Thailand but instead it is actually originally from Myanmar, as we were about to leave from Thailand in Mae Sot. We have spotted quite a lot of people in Thailand that have started using Thanaka :) It was a little tough and hard when you’re waiting for it to dry, we bought a very small tree bark and also the product itself! I definitely recommend everyone try Thanaka!