Also known as:  Thanaka, wood-apple, elephant-apple, monkey fruit, and curd fruit

Benefits:  Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Sunscreen, Moisturizing, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Acne, Anti-Aging, Cooling, Insect Repellant, Perfume, Cosmetic.

Recommended Usage:   Apply liberally to face and other exposed skin as desired.


What is Tanaka ?


Since ancient times Burmese women have used the wood and bark of the Tanaka tree extensively as a natural cosmetic, sunscreen, skin preservation treatment, and insect repellent.  Applying Tanaka to the face and skin makes it smooth, clear, and cool.  It constricts the pores and controls oiliness due to its natural moisturizing & anti-oxidant properties.

Tanaka is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark.  It's a distinctive feature of Myanmar (formerly Burma) seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls and to a lesser extent men and boys.  The use of Tanaka has also spread to neighboring countries including Thailand.

The wood of the trees are used to produce Tanaka powder and cream; these trees grow abundantly in central to north Myanmar. Tanaka trees are perennials, and a tree must be at least 35 years old before it is considered mature enough to yield good-quality cuttings. Tanaka in its natural state is sold as small logs individually or in bundles, but nowadays it is also available as a paste and in powder form.

Our Tanaka is not been used as male enhancement or libido enhancement product.



Other Features of Tanaka

Tanaka cream is made by grinding the bark, wood, or roots of a Tanaka tree with a small amount water on a circular stone slab called kyauk pyin, which has a channel round the rim for the water to drain into.  Tanaka cream has been used by Burmese women for over 2000 years.  It has a fragrant scent somewhat similar to sandalwood.  The creamy paste is applied to the face in attractive designs, the most common form being a circular patch on each cheek, sometimes made as stripes with the fingers, known as tanaka bè gya, or patterned in the shape of a leaf.  Often, also highlighting the bridge of the nose at the same time.

It may be applied from head to toe (Tanaka chi zoun gaung zoun).  Apart from cosmetic beauty, Tanaka also gives a cooling sensation and provides protection from sunburn.  It is believed to help remove acne and promotes softer, smoother skin.  It is also an anti-fungal.

For all practical purposes, Tanaka powder is the all-in-one makeup and the only thing that most Myanmar people need.



Top Benefits of Tanaka:


  • Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory

  • Moisturizing

  • Cooling

  • Mild Sunblock, UV Protection

  • Softer, Smoother Skin

  • Anti-Fungal

  • Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Acne

  • Anti-Aging

  • Insect Repellant

  • Cosmetic

  • Slight Perfume

  • Hair Removal



Why should you consider Tanaka on a regular basis ?

Tanaka cream contains the 2 active ingredients of coumarin and marmesin.

Coumarin is a phytochemical, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging and anti-oxidant agent.  It removes all kinds of bacteria and fungi from human skin while actively producing the two major proteins of collagen and elastin.  Collagen and elastin reverse premature aging and keeps skin supple, elastic and young looking.

The marmesin content naturally protects the skin from harmful UV-A rays.  UV-A degrades both skin proteins and moisture which causes wrinkles, fine lines and premature aging.  Marmesin also shields the skin from harmful UV-B rays.  UV-B increases the production of melanin in our skin resulting in skin discoloration, freckles and even skin cancer.


With high amounts of Vitamin E, Tanaka is a natural Anti-Oxidant.  A 2010 study at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok found that extracts from Tanaka bark showed strong anti-inflammatory, significant anti-oxidation, mild tyrosinase inhibition and slight antibacterial activities (tyrosinase is needed for melatonin synthesis, so blocking it could brighten dull skin).  All extracts and the original bark powder showed no detectable genotoxicity while very low cytotoxicity with IC(50) value of more than 12 mg/ml was detected in the water extract.  Thus, the use of the Tanaka bark in the form of a watery paste as a skin care regiment is not only safe but also beneficial to skin.   A link to an abstract of this study is provided below.

The tyrosinase inhibition properties, make Tanaka powders and creams effective as whiteners to remove dark spots from fair skin.

Moisturizing and Cooling

Tanaka is an effective moisturizer, and it’s hydrating and cooling effects make it ideal for post-sun exposure as well.  Tanaka soothes and cools the skin while it evens out skin tones.

UV Protection

The marmesin content of Tanaka naturally protects the skin from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays.

Softer Smoother Skin, Anti-Aging

Tanaka Moisturizes and hydrates aging skin.  Can reduce or remove skin blemishes and dark spots.

Pure Tanaka Powder consists of very fine particles that if used as a cleanser, effectively removes dead skin cells from the outermost layer of your skin. The result: A smooth and soft facial skin.


Tanaka contains Coumarin, which is an anti-fungal agent.

Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Acne

Tanaka helps to Control Excessive Facial Oil, Remove Serious Acne, Pimples, Blackheads and whiteheads.

Hair Removal

Tanaka has also, more recently become known for hair removal and used along with Kusumba Oil for this purpose.


Other Uses

Tanaka powder and cream can be used as a Facial Mask, Face Powder and Facial Cleansing. Tanaka is an Ancient beauty secret with powerful skin benefits…

Treat Yourself With Tanaka !

Try a Tanaka Powder Brightening Face Mask…..(prep time 5 min)


  • Tanaka powder x 1 tablespoon

  • Mineral or distilled water x 1 tablespoon


  1. Mix the tanaka powder with the water into a thick paste. You can add more powder if you want a thicker consistency.

  2. Apply mask on cleansed face

  3. Leave mask for 10 to 20 mins

  4. Wash face with lukewarm water



…..Or a Soothing Herbal Scrub…..

Mix Tanaka powder with roughly equal parts of plain or herbal water to create a smooth semi-liquid paste. Apply all over the body and rub gently to exfoliate.  Rinse with warm water, or steamed towels.  Follow with application of full-body massage with Rejuvenating Body Concentrate.


Also note that, water isn’t the only ingredient to use with the tanaka powder.  You can add yogurt, honey, aloe or even a few drops of your favorite oil to a DIY mask or scrub that suits your skin type.

Instructions for use:  Apply as generously as you please to any exposed skin, particularly the face.

Allergies:  Suitable for vegetarians and contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, corn, soy or wheat. Contains no sugar, starch, salt, preservatives, or artificial color, flavor or fragrance.


Toxicity:   None.  Tanaka is suitable for ALL skin types.


Warnings:   None.



Links to various abstracts/studies regarding Tanaka:

Biological activities and safety of Thanaka (Hesperethusa crenulata) stem bark – 2010 Program in Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok



It’s also used medicinally to cure malaria, epilepsy, leprosy, heart disease and stomach infection….

What medicine does(n’t) know about thanaka – 2017 Myanmar Times



Thanaka: Traditional Burmese Sun Protection – 2014 Anne Goldsberry MD MBA, Alan Dinner PhD, and C. William Hanke MD MPH



Analysis of the Antimicrobial Properties of Thanaka, a Burmese Powder Used to Treat

Acne – 2017 Departments of Dermatology, Family and Community Medicine, and Pathology, Pennsylvania State University -Milton S.Hershey Medical Center, Hershey,PA, USA



EVALUATION OF MYANMAR THANAKHA – 2014 Dr. Nwe Nwe AungDepartment of Industrial Chemistry Yadanabon University, Mandalay, Myanmar


Tanaka Powder
Tanaka Powder
Tanaka Powder