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Natural Beauty: Using Thanaka for Acne and Uneven Tone

Natural Beauty: Is Thanaka the Miracle Cure for Acne and Discoloration?

Is this the miracle cure for acne and uneven tone?


I discovered thanaka firsthand while visiting Thailand. During my journey from Phuket to Chiang Mai I often saw women and children (and sometimes men) with a yellow powdery substance on their faces. Sometimes it would be smeared on, and other times it would be applied into a design to the cheeks and forehead. When I asked some local villagers what it was for they told me that it was used for cooling the skin. I thought to myself If it cools the skin, what else can it do?

While in the country I noticed an effortless beauty and very little acne or discoloration. I began to wonder what other benefits this mysterious thanaka was good for. I decided to do some more investigating and this is one time that my inquisitive mind has definitely paid off. Turns out, thanaka is originally from Burma and while widely used to keep the skin cool in southeast Asia it is also quickly becoming a popular alternative in natural beauty solutions.

So what exactly is this mysterious miracle beauty secret made of? Thanaka is a finely ground powder made of a type of wood that is native to Burma. The powder is ground on a stone until its very fine. Then its simply mixed with water and applied. Since it’s so simple and pure, I had to check out. After one application, I was sold. Even after just leaving the thanaka paste on for twenty minutes, my skin was noticeably different. Any pimples I had were shrunken but my skin did not feel dried out. According to a 2010 study conducted by the University of London and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, thanaka bark is highly anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and absorbs UV rays. The study also revealed that thanaka inhibits tryosinase, the enzyme that triggers melanin synthesis and affects skin discoloration–hence, even skintone! Using thanaka is simple and easy, and a must-try for every woman’s beauty regimen.

Thanaka powder can be easily ordered online. I recommend making a mask that you rinse off. If you want to make lighter paste for general application, use more water. If you have a breakout that you want to spot-treat, make the paste a little thicker so that you can get more coverage on that area. After mixing, apply the thanaka to your face and allow it to dry for at least 20 minutes. If you apply a thicker mixture, you need to leave it on longer. Rinse off with warm water when you’re finished and then follow with a couple of splashes of cold water, to close your pores.

Thanaka gets rid of my breakouts without drying my skin completely out. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and am noticing my skin tone is getting even more even and clear. Feel free to add a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice if you want to enhance its blemish fighting properties.

Have you tried thanaka? Or would you try it? 

More natural skin care tips: Nourishing Banana Clay Mask

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Photo: Chelcie Porter

Chelcie Porter

Chelcie Porter

Chelcie S. Porter is an artist and photographer from Chicago. A lifelong vegetarian, she lives a Rasta lifestyle and travels the world to provide professional development for artists and free education for youth through her nomadic artist's residency, La Casa de la Artista. She is the owner of Kindred, a line of travel-inspired accessories. You can often find her online talking about her travels on her radio show and vlog Travel Therapy. Find out more on her website,, Tumblr @ChelcieSPorter, and Instagram @ChelcieSPorter.
Chelcie Porter
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  • hanna

    Love finding new ingredients! Never heard of this one but will look it up now 😀

  • Ivoy Luo

    Can u tell which brand to buy from please some or fake so please help

    • Esther Stigter

      Shwe Pyi Nann is the best and the original. Comes in a can already, so you just need to add a few drops of water. Can be found on e-bay, and they’ll look like these. Two most popular brands are in the front/far left and far right; I’ve used both and would highly recommend either. 🙂

  • sanjay

    Haleys Natural Thanaka Powder and kusumba oil is 100% pure Herbal. It changed my face and my whole prestigious life. Thanaka can be used for Skin problem and hair removal. One of my friend suggested me to use this product. I had also used many similar items. But, finally i found a permanent solution by using this magical organic product.
    For more details you can visit official site:

  • shilpa aggarwal

    I have used “Thanaka BioDevice” which is one of the most biological herbal revolution in ayurvedic and herbal world,its main ingredient is “Thanaka Protein Liquid” which helps in removing hairs in just 12 to 14 Days Permanently Naturally and without side effects,100% Gauranteed Results.

    More Detail at :

  • pooja shauri

    I had very less time of about just 3 weeks before my marriage but i was suffering from unwanted hairs on my face due to PCOD problem, then i found Dr.Me Ping GEL from Berry Organics and Started Using it fro one week my hairs started becoming thin and started to falling of and i got complete hair removal in 2 weeks and that too permannetly and then i got happily married with more smiles on my face,
    you can buy from:

  • archana tiwari

    i have used Thanaka Grade GROZ and My sister has used Dr.Me Ping GEL ,so my sister got results in 7 Days and myself got result in 14 days.

  • Vandana Gupta

    the best ever non-thanaka powder product an Permanent face hair removal for men and women in just 2 weeks with visible results in 3 days..

  • Paula Emmerson

    i have used the best ever non-thanaka powder and kusumba oil based hair removal to get rid of unwanted type hairs for men and women in just 2 weeks by ping gel in natural way at home without any side effects —>

  • Paula Emmerson

    This is many latest techniques like waxing, laser hair removal, electrolysis, etc. are available for unwanted hair removal but success rate in removing any kind of unwanted facial and body hairs permanently is very less but thanaka grade groz from s-organics has really helped in removing upper lip hairs permanently and 100% effectively without any side effects and my sister used ping gel which has really helped in removing her bikini line and ingrown hair very fastly and effectly—–>

  • Jenny Weeber

    This is nice info,I and my elder sister has used Thanaka Grade GROZ and Dr.Me Ping Gel from S-Organics..An NonLaser Permanent Unwanted Hair Removal at Home in just 14 Days with full benefits,reasonable cost and has no side effects with lots of herbal and natural ingredients…..

  • Jenny Weeber

    this is nice info but i have used S-Organics “thanaka grade groz powder and kusumba oil” and “ ping gel” for permanent removal of unwanted hair which removed all my facial and body hairs naturally in just 2 weeks,its really awesome ….

  • Paula Emmerson

    i have used “Thanaka Grade GROZ Powder and Kusumba Oil” for my facial upper lip unwanted hair removal in 14 Days without any side effects and my sister as used “Dr Me Ping Gel” and one of my cousin has used XuDuan Spray for full body hair removal all are really awesome in 2 weeks …..

  • Alexa Mary

    this page given an awesome info, i have used thanaka grade groz powder and kusumba oil from siobay,it has been used by to remove my complete body hairs with good reviews awesome results in 15 days without any side effects and easy to buy online –>

  • Alexa Mary

    Its an great Info,But I tried and used Dr Me Ping Gel,its an best nonlaser permanent hair removal treatment gel at my home
    with easy cost and price compared to any skin clinic,it has awesome reviews usage without any side effects –>

  • Lily Claire

    this is good info,i have used Thanaka Grade GROZ Powder and Kusumba Oil for natural ayurvedic permanent hair removal of my facial unwanted hair including legs,arms,abdomen areas,this has visible good results in 12 days without side effects –>

  • Lily Claire

    if you are looking for natural nonlaser permanent hair removal to be used at home with reasonable cost and good reviews, i simple recommend Dr Me Ping Gel an amazing product which complete got rid of my full body unwanted hair at ease in 15 days –>

  • Rachel Veet

    Its an Nice Info,But I have used Dr Me Ping Gel,its an best nonlaser permanent hair removal treatment
    with easy cost and price compared to any skin clinic with awesome reviews at home usage without side effects ->->

  • Sophia Heath

    Blue mercury’s success
    could probably be attributed
    to it. Whether it’s a face-to-face with executives from Macy’s Blue
    parent company or a family commitment like the parent-teacher conference
    Beck mentioned he’d be attending the day following our interview read

  • Morri

    Is there a brand that you could recommend, as I bought some that claimed to be 100% thanaka but judging by the smell and texture it’s adulterated with talc and synthetic fragrance and I heard that it’s a common problem.

    • Bianca Mawi

      Check for a Burmese store. There are some in Indianapolis. They are called Chin Brothers, and Saraga.

  • Leo Sue Win Tin

    I always love using Thanaka even the wooden ones, it helped my breakout skin toned and smooth, I used the powder as one of my makeup application, and if you sweat during summer, the more glower your skin display without worrying the damage.

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