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are discovering what the ageless beauties of Myanmar have known for over 2200 years. For centuries, Burmese women have used thanakha as a cosmetic as well as an invaluable conditioner for their flawless skin. Ritually applied first to the ears, then throat and finally the face, the yellowish paste is often simply smeared upon the face. Sometimes elegant artistic stencils are drawn in the paste, most common is a lovely leaf pattern.
Thanakha Protects Your Skin From Sun Damage
As one of their most prized and best natural face care products
, Burmese women from all walks of life have long appreciated the sun-screening properties of Thanakha. Thick layers of the paste protected
the skin of women working under intense heat in rice paddies. The tannic acids of the bark used to produce Thanaka protect the skin from ultraviolet rays - decreasing the chance of free radical damage and premature aging skin.
How Thanakha Cleanses Skin…
These acids also have a skin tightening effect on the skin. Thanakha is antiseptic and anti-fungal and has been useful in clearing and preventing acne. The flawless skin of Burmese women is the perfect ad campaign for this cool, fragrant astringent and an example of how to get clean, clear skin. It reduces excess oil production, while keeping the skin moisturized. In addition to being used as facial powder, it is an effective base for makeup and a daytime oil controller. It is 100% organic with no known side effects or allergies.
The Origins of Thanakha
The wood of several trees are used to produce Thanakha paste. Most common is Limonia acidissima or the Elephant Apple Tree, native to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the western and southern parts of India and the north-western Himalayas. It is a small, perennial tree, growing to about 9 meters tall with a rough, spiny bark. The hard fragrant wood and the the thick rind of the fruit can be used in woodworking.
Thanakha paste is traditionally produced using a kyauk pyin - a flat circular stone slab with a groove around the rim for water to drain into. The bark is mixed with water and ground to a milky, yellow liquid or paste which is applied to the skin immediately. While wet, it is translucent then dries to a yellow crust.
Despite the abundant availability of modern cosmetics and facial care products, Thanakha remains the favorite among Burmese women and women in neighboring countries such as Thailand. It is now packaged in paste and powder form but is most desirable in its raw state, sold as small logs individually or in bunches. A tree must be at least 35 years old to be considered mature enough to yield good quality cuttings so Thanakha from special regions such as Mandalay can be quite expensive, but well worth it.
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