Thanaka - A Natural Skin Treatment

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Thanaka - A Natural Skin Treatment

The Hesperethusa crenulata or Limonia acidissima, as the Thanaka tree is formally called, is a common tropical plant species that grows not only in Burma, but also in other parts of Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It’s believed that both the bark and the fruit of this tree contain valuable medicinal properties (in China, the fruit is said to cure stomach problems), but only in Burma is the tree bark traditionally ground down into a powder and then mixed into a watery paste to be used for skincare and cosmetic purposes.

According to a 2010 study performed by researchers at the University of London’s School of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the Thanaka bark, together with UV absorption properties, make for an ideal daily face pack. The study showed the powdered bark is rich in free radical fighting agents, has an extremely low toxicity and contains properties that inhibit tryosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin synthesis and skin discoloration, which means it also possesses significant skin-whitening properties.

The gentle, non-toxic nature of the Thanaka bark is safe to use everyday, the research concluded, and as such, “it could be a good candidate source for cosmetic ingredients.”
And that’s exactly the way things are headed.

“Basically Thanaka contains a number of substances that act similar to tannins, which work as an anti-itching product, tighten your skin and work against wrinkles,” Honegger says. “In addition to protecting against free radicals and UV radiation, Thanaka has properties that protect the skin against acne, so if you use it as a face mask, it controls your facial oil and its anti-bacterial properties can remove blackheads and so on.”

Thanaka powder is so versatile that it is compatible with other skincare products, Honneger says. “So if you have a face mask that you use regularly, you can mix Thanaka powder into it, get the benefit of your regular face pack and a lot more.”

Today, more countries across the globe—Thailand, Malaysia, India and some European nations, to name a few—are discovering the virtues of Thanaka, and some cosmetic companies are starting to incorporate the powder into their products.

Unwanted Hair

Too often unwanted hair is seen as a taboo and therefore gets concealed by society. Moreover many physicians see unwanted hair only as a cosmetic problem despite the fact that increased growth of unwanted hair can be a significant psychological burden. To remove unwanted hair permanently several different methods are available such as hair removal creams/powders or laser treatments. However most of these creams contain aggressive chemical ingredients such as calcium hydroxide that might remove your hair permanently but also contain a certain risk of burning or eroding your skin. The same goes for Laser treatments that also have the risk of negative side effects on your skin. As I my skin is very sensitive to heat (laser treatments literally burn out the roots of your hair follicles) I did not want to take these risks and decided to try an old ayurvedic home remedy to remove my unwanted hair permanently.

About the Ingredients

kusuma oil

Thanaka Powder is a soft bark powder out of the Burmese Thanaka tree. Its cosmetic use goes back several thousand years to the famous Queen of Peikthano who used to grind a log of Thanaka on a circular stone called kyauk pyin and mix it with water to create a paste. Afterwards she applied the paste to her face using it as a facial mask making her glowing and soft. Despite modern cosmetic products you will still find many Burmese women wearing their Thanaka with pride. Over the years Thanaka find its way to ayurvedic practitioners that started to use the Thanaka for the pastes used in their treatments.

Kusuma oil is pressed out of the seeds of the precious Kusuma flower using a specific pressing method to extract the precious oil out of the small seeds. As you can see on the picture above the seeds have a grayish white color. Like Thanaka it is used in ayurvedic treatments since several thousand years (the beginning of Ayurveda dates back over 5000 years).


Mix pure Thanaka powder (find out more about Thanaka on this article on with the same amount of Kusuma oil until it forms a brown/beige colored, oily cream. So for 100ml of Kusuma oil you will need about 40-50g of Thanaka Powder (quality Thanaka Powder is usually grinned in very thin particles and has a rather big volume).

Tip: Add some Turmeric powder to the paste of Thanaka and Kusuma to brighten your skin complexion. If you use Turmeric make sure to wear a towel or clothes where you don't mind stains.

How to use

Step 1: Remove all your unwanted hair the way you prefer and wash the area thoroughly.
Step 2: Apply the cream of Kusuma oil and Thanaka powder on the shaved area and massage it gently against the direction of the hair growth for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Leave the cream on for some time, preferably overnight (your cells are especially active during your sleep).
Repeat this procedure for the next 3-4 months (not only after removing your hair). Once your hair is not growing back you can stop the treatment and enjoy your hair free skin...
Thanaka paste can be used 4-5 times per week for 3 and a half month. If you do not have a local shop with the ingredients close by you can order all the ingredients online from Sindhiya Enterprise.
Here is the link:

    Cosmetics Store, Skin Care Service, Nature Preserve

   +880 2 9031716

      Facebook page

      Suite # 188, Level-8, Mukto Bangla Shopping Complex Mirpur -1, Dhaka, Bangladesh


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