Natural skincare is all the rage right now, but "natural" or "organic" skincare products usually don't have the same efficacy or immediate effect compared to its chemical counterparts. Outside of facial oils, I found most natural or organic skincare products to have little effect on my skin. While browsing through one of the many giant malls in Bangkok, I found a pop-up natural beauty market. In particular, one stand was selling products made from thanaka wood.
Thanaka wood originated from Myanmar (formerly Burma). The yellow powder is produced by grinding the tree bark from the Limonia acidissima tree in the northern regions of this country. This tree powder contains antioxidant properties. In addition to sun protection, the natural ingredient can help smoothen skin, clarify and constrict pores, moisturize, and control unnecessary oiliness. Studies have also shown that thanaka has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help to leave acne skin naturally clear and beautiful.
The powder has a very light, aromatic scent. The easiest way to use this powder is to mix an equal amount of water (preferably mineral or distilled water) to however much powder you want to use and combine the mixture into a paste. Make sure the mixture doesn’t turn out too watery. Then you apply it to your skin and leave it on for around 10 to 20 minutes before washing off.
So far, I have been pleasantly surprised by thanaka wood. You can customize the paste to texture you want. I found it to be a good substitute for a powder facial cleanser on days that I go bare. I noticed my complexion is more even, and it works wonders on calming my occasional pimple flare-ups. Since it's a powder, thanaka wood is very travel-friendly.