Thanaka: Myanmar’s ancient beauty secret – BBC News

For thousands of years, people in Myanmar have been using thanaka to protect and care for their skin. But this ancient beauty habit is changing as the country opens up and modern make-up has become more available.

Video by Tessa Wong, Saw Closay, and Nick Beake

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Comment (191)

  1. I found TRULY THANAKA to be the best so far. Its not gritty, its very fine and smooth also its really 100% thanaka and from older trees so its higher quality. Avoid the cheap low grade stuff you find on amazon, trust me.

  2. I remember seeing ladies wearing this thirty years ago in the North of Thailand and on the Burmese border. I use to wonder what it was. If the West finds out it is good then you know intensive farming will be hitting the Thanaka tree soon.

  3. It's an old tradition of Burmese since they settle and it's due to UV radiation heat of sun light,which is extremely hot almost the year Burma has a hot temperature than neighbors and they need this tanakha as to protect from it. When you put it will comfort you before sun, like your faith has made you heal….

  4. They are being beautiful while their government and army killed Rohingyas, raped them, burnt entire Rohingya villages. More than 7 million Rogingyas are living in refugee camps in Bangladesh, unable to go back to their homes. But who cares, when you can get nice skin using Thanaka.

  5. oh my god !thank god for this video to solve my mystery!!! thanks, BBC!! I live in Malaysia and there are lots of foreign workers here, Almost all of them (men and women) always spot this look every day. I used to think it's their traditional medicine for acne, now I know it's sunblock lol.

  6. what kind of wood do they use for thanaka..?

    I’ve used sandalwood with yogurt in a face mask before, it smells good and feels good for my* dry skin. Is this sort of similar?

    Edit: I saw somebody else post how South Indians do this ^^ too which is sort of similar (to thanaka) and so wanted to add that I didn’t mention mine had tumeric too and I got the idea from my mother (South Indian). So go figure~

  7. Thanatka=သနပ်ခါး species is the Myanmar' original species. Thanatka wood & wearing culture are originally only from Myanmar(usual burma).Please Remember Thanatka =Myanmar'origin.We even eat it.Thanaka wood is similar to sandal wood.

  8. I really wanted to try thanaka powder and am searching for a reliable source to buy from. Does anyone have any recommendations? Last month I ordered a bag of powder from Truly Thanaka. They never sent me my tracking number for my shipment after saying they would. I reached out multiple times to find out where my package was or if I could get a refund. My messages have gotten no response. I spent about $40 including trackable shipping and have gotten nothing in return. If anyone knows of another brand to try please let me know here in the comments. Thank you.


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