What is Thanaka? This is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste that is used for many purposes and is a distinctive feature of Myanmar culture. The powder is named after Thanaka tree, a common tropical plant species grown abundantly in the centre of Myanmar. Thanaka paste is made by grinding the bark, wood or roots of the Thanaka tree together with a small amount of water against a circular stone slab called kyauk pyin. This product is well-known for its medical purposes to treat various illnesses such as skin sores, headache or heart disease (Dr. Singh, Apr 11 2017), but only in Myanmar that Thanaka is used for cosmetic purposes.

A study by the University of London and Bangkok has found out that Thanaka has strong anti-inflammatory, significant antioxidation and antibacterial activities (Wangthong, S., Palaga, T., Rengpipat, S., Wanichwecharungruang, S.P., Chanchaisak, P. and Heinrich, 2010). These are all the active ingredient that serves as a natural UV-A protection. Thus, Thanaka is a natural sun protection to protect the skin against sunburn and dehydration. Under sun exposure, Thanaka keeps the skin rejuvenated and renewed with sufficient hydration. Since Myanmar is a country that depends heavily on agriculture (Cho, K.M., 2002), the main activities are mostly done on the field, which leads to direct exposure under the sun. With one of the major components is ultraviolet light, a harmful ray that can cause skin cancer should bare skin expose too much under the sunlight without any protection. A light coverage of Thanaka on the face will effectively create a shield for the skin against the ultraviolet rays. Understanding its powerful effect, Burmans have made Thanaka their signature image. Moreover, it also helps to control oiliness by tightening pores and thus, this improves the complexion of the skin by preventing pimples and moisturising aging skin. One more special purpose of Thanaka is that it can create beautiful make up. Thanks to the quick dry-up when applying directly to the skin, people find it easy to draw on the face with the paste drying up. This allows beautiful pattern to be drawn on the face of Myanmar people of not only women but men and children as well. This becomes a distinctive feature and a proud tradition for the Burmese (Dan Levin, Jul 28 2014).

I believe that Thanaka is a treasure ingredient found in Asian countries. After doing much research on the benefits of Thanaka, I have gained a great knowledge in the components of Thanaka. I have been a skincare enthusiastic for quite a long time and I have always been searching for many different kinds of products from high end to drugstore to find the most suitable products for my skin. Since I was young, I have always wanted to open a business in doing cosmetic and skincare products. Therefore, I find it important to find new and useful ingredients to help improve the skin but at the same time, suitable for any skin types. And Thanaka has gained my interest with its multi-purpose and the effects it does on skin. This amazing powder will change the way people perceive about beauty that conventional products are not necessarily better than natural products. Especially, natural Thanaka does not contain any chemical and has no side effects so it is suitable even for sensitive skin types. As an Asian, we have the advantage of having abundant raw materials since Thanaka is a tropical plant found mostly everywhere in the Asia countries. Thus, Thanaka has a high availability all year round, allowing it to reach the mass demand should Thanaka becomes the most wanted ingredient in the cosmetic industry. These knowledge that I have gained from doing research on Myanmar beauty culture will assist me in my future dream of building my own brand of cosmetic and Thanaka will be my main image of the company. Thanaka has high potential to become a new skincare secret among Asian country.

As an Asian woman, I believe that I can understand the perception of most women in Asia country. According to a survey conducted by Facebook IQ commissioned TapestryWorks, 1 out of 4 Asian women has their typical morning routine involved daily application of 16 beauty products to their face. Firstly, this is because skin is believed to be their pride, a flawless skin represents a woman better than any other parts of the body. Thus spending a fortune on skincare products are considered worthy for Asian women. However, as one specific product will mainly focus on one specific feature, other uses are mentioned but in my opinion, these additional uses are not clearly shown its effect on the skin. Thus Asian women are willing to spend more money on many different products to attain a flawless skin. However, a combination of different products at the same time on the skin might not be a good idea as this can create a clog on the skin, this is due to the fact that conventional products still consists chemical ingredients and a chemistry reaction between different ingredient is possible. As a result, the skin can suffer from break out and worst, a medical treatment has to come in to solve the skin problem. This will eventually cost them even more money and destroy their pride should the products are not suitable for them. With Thanaka, people can have a one hundred percent trust in the products as it promises to deliver the best quality even for sensitive skin types thanks to its wonderful natural ingredients. Natural Thanaka does not contain any chemical and has no side effects, which helps to promote Thanaka as a perfect product for those who are looking for a safe skincare product with many purposes. Purchasing Thanaka products does not only helps Asian women to save money instead of spending too much on conventional products, but also save their time on their adventure of finding the most suitable skincare products. Developing a beauty product line using Thanaka is a promising business in the beauty industry in the near future and I have a strong believe that with what I have learned and the knowledge I gained from my research on Myanmar beauty culture, it will be a great support for my understanding when opening a business in the beauty industry.