Guide to: Where to buy Thanaka in Yangon?
For those who have already came to Yangon, or Myanmar in general, surely they’ve seen many local people ‘wear’ an unique ‘mask’, or ‘make-up’. Those make-ups or masks are painted with a special ingredient in Myanmar called as ‘Thanaka’. Thanaka has proved to have many beneficial effects. For that reason, no wonder why many tourists want to buy it too. But the question is: Where to buy it? If that’s what you’re wondering, here we are: Guide to Where to buy Thanaka in Yangon!
But first, for people don’t know about Thanaka, let’s have a closer look at it!
Where to buy Thanaka in Yangon?
With all of these information explained, it’s time for our most important question: Where to buy Thanaka in Yangon? As mentioned, Thanaka can be found in pretty much every market in Myanmar, finding it in Yangon should not be difficult. There two type of Thanaka you can purchase: either powder/cream form or the orignal wood blocks.
Thanaka wood blocks are widely available, you can get see them in every markets in Yangon. The prices of these blocks may vary, depend on wood’s age and harvest location. The more matured the log is, the better quality and higher price it will be. Harvest location is another story, hard to say which place has the best quality. Some say that it’s Mandalay, other say it’s Irrawaddy and Shwebo,…
In terms of paste product, Shwe Pyi Nan Thanaka is the export product. No wonder why it seems to have the highest trust. Based on many tourists’ comments, Shwe Pyi Nan Thanaka products are available in all local stores or supermarkets.
What is Thanaka?
Thanaka is actually the name of a tropical plant type, often seen in South East Asia. That said, people mostly know these Thanaka trees in Myanmar. The locals commonly gather their powder when the trees mature and use these powder to take care and protect their skin from sunlight. Thanaka trees may take up to 35 years to mature, however, now the locals have created many Thanaka farms which reduces the mature time of Thanaka.
According to the history, his practice has existed for 2000 years. While most other countries use the trees’ parts for medicines, Myanmar is the only country known to use it for cosmetic purpose first. Since the ancient time, Burmese people use Thanaka not only for skin care, but also for cosmetic. This has influenced a lot in Burmese culture. People believe that Thanaka helps them drive off the evil spirits and bad lucks, also brings good fortune to the users.
Well, not sure how Burmese people believe in that story nowadays. But surely they still widely use Thanaka for beautiful make-up and skin care.
How to use it?
In order to use Thanaka, first people will extract the powder from its wood. And thankfully the process is not that hard so you can also try this by yourself. The wood blocks are easy to find as they are sold in almost every markets in Myanmar. Next you will need a grinding plate. With all that prepared, it’s time to start working!
First, we need to wet the block, then grind it on the plate in circular motion. Next, we keep grinding and occasionally put a bit water on it. After a while, we will see the created yellow paste. We still need to grind though until we see the paste looks opaque. That’s time to try it on our face.
There is no rule in painting Thanaka so… just go wild!
What does it do?
Again, what does Thanaka do to our face? According to the locals, Thanaka will protect our skin from the sun, lightens the skin (and that’s why it intervene skin aging process), and stop acne. In the past, these benefits were simply told by the locals, and passed down from generations to generations. But in this modern era, many researchers have studied about Thanaka and recognized its awesome effects. For example: Thanaka is full of Vitamin E which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidation, and antibacterial characteristics. All of these are perfect to preserve the beauty of our skin.
In case some people may concern, there is no age-restriction in using Thanaka. In Myanmar, all people from young to old, both male and female, use Thanaka in their daily life. They use Thanaka for their children since very young in order to protect their skin when the kids grow up. They use it like every morning so why don’t we use it too?
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