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Why Do Burmese Women Paint Their Faces?

If you have traveled to Myanmar, there are three things that would have certainly caught your attention - the scorching hot weather, women with painted faces, and red splodges that artfully bedeck the floors.

Why do Burmese women paint their faces? Is it medicinal, decorative, or merely an age-long tradition that has been prevalent in the region?

Thanaka: The Burmese Way of Beauty Known as thanaka, the yellowish-white substance is derived from the barks of the Murraya tree. It has been used for over thousands of years in Myanmar as cosmetics – simply by grinding the barks into a paste that is applied onto the face in patterns deemedthe most appealing for each individual. On top of that, thanaka is also loved for what is claimed to be its protective properties. It is used day-to-day as natural sunscreen to dutifully shield the skin from harmful UV rays and the sweltering weather.

This form of beauty is perhaps what makes Myanmar so incredibly unique. While many native cultures are on …

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