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Myanmar – Thanaka, the secret of beauty

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Burmese women’s and children’s use of thanaka is a featured custom; we explore this tradition’s background and the reasons it continues to thrive todayburmese people women feel good pride when they are asked to explain the golden paste covering their faces. This traditional skin conditioner has been used in Burmese society for centuries and is a cherished part of national identity.
Fragrant thanaka is a Burmese household tradition. Every day, after taking a bath, women, children, and even some men paint thanaka on their faces. Burmese believe thanaka bark cools their skin, tightens the pores, and controls oiliness.
Women apply this cream in diverse ways, from a casual smear to elaborate patterns, as a light coating or a thick mask. Especially those who work in paddy fields or toil outside for long periods use thanaka as a protective shield on their exposed faces and arms, believing it protects their skin against the unforgiving tropical sunshine.
Wearing thanaka is also a centuries-old m…