Myanmar's best kept beauty secret

Boy with a thanakha makeup in Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar

Boy with a thanakha makeup in Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar


In Myanmar, the most popular makeup by far is thanakha. It is a paste, made from the bark of a thanakha tree grinded together with some water on a flat stone. It is later applied by ladies on their faces, and at the same time plays the role of a fragrance, sun protection and a beautifier.

Sometimes thanakha is used by (on?) boys and teenagers. This particular boy was not too interested in the beaty part, as his ears have some thanakha spots as well.
Note that the ones wearing sarongs or using this unusual makeup are simple people just like you and me. You meet them in the streets of the capital city, not in the deep jungle of Papua New Guinea.
It's fascinating how some traditions were able to resist westernization in Myanmar up until now.
However, advertisements of Nivea are already present.


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Cringel Jurga's picture

I do hope, this tradition

I do hope, this tradition will last long.