Hooked on Thanakha

thanakha block

Every night, right before I go to bed, I bring a knife inside the bathroom and scrape off a teaspoon worth of powder from this yellow block. I then apply a few drops of water to the powder to create a paste, spreading and rubbing it on my dry face, and leaving it on for a few minutes before washing it all off with water. After patting my face dry, I once again marvel at how soft and smooth my skin feels.

Ladies, I would like to introduce you all to thanakha, which I can safely say is the best facial wash I've ever tried, bar none.

Strangely enough, it was our (male) staff photographer who introduced me to thanakha. He had just come from a vacation in Myanmar and brought home thanakha blocks as pasalubong for everyone in our office.

He emphasized that these blocks were not edible (a wise move since doesn't it look like an oversized choc-nut bar?), and instead were supposed to be smeared on the face. He further said that everyone he saw in Myanmar had flawless skin, so there must be some basis to their devotion to thanakha.

Siyempre, since it related to skin care, I was all over it in an instant and started using thanakha the same night I received my loot. I was very impressed after my first thanakha wash because not only did my face feel softer and smoother, as previously mentioned, the dry and rough patches that I have come to grudgingly associate with skin aging and regularly treated with Cure gel exfoliator, had vanished.

I thought it was a fluke so after three nights of washing my face with thanakha, I went back to my trusty Physiogel cleanser for the next few nights only to be rewarded with the return of rough skin.

The best thing about thanakha is that it is as natural as you can get and it can be used in a thousand and one ways. The Burmese slather thanakha paste on their children's faces and arms to keep their skin healthy and protected from sun damage. Faces smeared with thanakha circles or patterns are common in Myanmar since not only are these deemed as signs of beauty, they also give a cooling effect and prevent sunburn.

Thanakha is widely available in Myanmar and Thailand, making it dirt cheap. It's not the case in the Philippines though, and a quick Google search yielded a direct sales company selling thanakha in cream form at about a thousand pesos for a tiny pot. Yikes.

Right now, I'm maximizing the tiny thanakha block I received and am already scheming at how I can persuade my officemates to give me their own blocks because they just leave the blocks lying around their desks, seemingly unaware of thanakha's impressive qualities. Or with all of these budget airlines fighting for our attention, I can take a quick vacation to Myanmar and stock up on several years supply of thanakha. Pang-ekonomiya na, pang-kagandahan pa! Win all the way.

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