Argo Naturals Pure Thanaka Powder - review


You may remember that Argo Naturals sent me a couple of products for consideration earlier in the year.

I've already reviewed the Argo Naturals Rose Water Tonic (see here) and loved it so much that I gave it an HG tag because it's one of the best facial sprays I've ever used.

I also liked this Pure Thanaka Powder from the first use and it's growing on me even more over time. While at the moment I'd pick the tonic if I had to choose between the two because great face sprays are hard to find, after another few months of using this powder I may feel differently: it's so versatile and travel-friendly that it's pretty hard to beat.

Argo Naturals claims/product details:
  • Thanaka is a finely ground bark from Myanmar, Burma
  • Can easily be combined with oils or creams
  • Contains vitamin e and also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helping your skin remove pimples and blackheads
  • Helps your skin remove dead skin cells and dirt 
  • Thanaka contains properties that inhibit Tyrosinase, which is responsible for melanin synthesis and skin discolouration; regular use of Thanaka can therefore brighten up your complexion
  • Suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive
  • Application: can be used as a face powder and also as a mask or cleanser when mixed with water, oils or creams
  • Refill packs are available in three different sizes: 65g ($31.90 USD), 130g ($67.90) and 500g ($229.90); there's also a 65g tub available that costs $39.90

More information on Argo Naturals Pure Thanaka Powder is available on its website.

I also found a great post on the product at (see here), which describes in detail the history of thanaka powder and how it's made and used. This post notes that its uses in Burma include application as a sunscreen; and its popularity has spread to neighbouring countries due to its many benefits. Other reviewers have noted that it can also be used for hair removal.

Personally, my favourite use for Thanaka Powder is as a face mask. I mix it with a cream face mask I have that doesn't do much for me on its own, then add a bit of water so the texture isn't too thick, then blend it all together before applying it to my face and leaving it on for 15 minutes or so.

I also use it as a cleanser in a similar way, although the quantities shown above and below are slightly smaller because I don't need as much product when I use it for cleansing.


This is a great product and I really like it. When I first received it in early January, I used it for a month before giving it a rest for a couple of weeks so I could compare it to other products, and I've now been using it again for over three weeks.

It's a finely ground, cream-coloured powder that smells natural (like tree bark) but the smell isn't strong so I'd be surprised if it bothered many people. I like the scent and look of the powder and it adds to the experience of using it because I feel like it's doing good things for my skin and doesn't contain any nasties.

Straight away I felt this did more for my skin than most other dry products I've tried that need to be mixed with liquid before application. 

I tried it as a cleanser and mask by mixing it with water, but decided I preferred using it mixed with creams that weren't otherwise doing much for my skin because this transforms bad products into good ones. No easy feat!

Also, I found the powder a little rough on my sensitive skin when used as a cleanser and mixed with water alone - it wasn't terrible but I don't like anything too grainy these days and I find that using a cream cleanser along with this softens the product's impact a little and means I can massage away to my heart's content without being too careful about the pressure I'm using.

When used as a mask and just mixed with water, I found that it started to fall off my face as the mixture dried down. Since I have enough mess on myself and my floor as it is (we have a toddler and a dog), I prefer to mix it with a cream mask because this makes the powder adhere better and stay put as it dries.

I've also tried this product as a finishing powder and it reduced the look of pores considerably. I was surprised! But it's not as finely milled as other powders I have so I could feel the powder grains when I touched my face. Also, the finish is too mattifying for my tastes (I have dry skin so I'm all about the dew), but if you have oily skin you might love this. 

Finally, I've tried this alongside a microdermabrasion product and I put that product on one half of my face and this product on the other. The microdermabrasion product resurfaced better and left my skin smoother, but there wasn't an insanely huge difference and this delivered a similar effect. Plus it's probably better for my skin than the microdermabrasion product (which is quite harsh) and I can use this powder more than once a week.

I've noticed many benefits to my skin when using this product mixed with creams. It acts as a great exfoliant when used as a cleanser and leaves me with baby-soft skin that hasn't been too harshly scrubbed. Plus it works well when applied as a mask: my skin looks brighter and healthier after use, plus it feels firmer and more refined.

Over time I've noticed a slight brightening effect and impact on uneven skintone and texture, and I can only imagine that it will have an even more noticeable effect over time. I've also found that it helps with blemishes. For the last few months I've had breakouts along my chin, and when I use this product they stop appearing as much. When I gave the powder a break they came back, and when I introduced it again and combined it with another blemish treatment, they reduced significantly and stopped appearing as often.

My favourite things about this product are: it's multi-purpose so if you wanted to cut down on products when you travel, there's nothing stopping you taking it for use as a face powder, mask and cleanser (perhaps a body scrub too); it actually works and I've noticed a difference in my skin; and best of all, it turns hoh-hum masks and cleansers into good ones so you can 'revive' dodgy products that might otherwise go to waste.

While it's not cheap, you only need a small amount of product each time and this pack seems never-ending - it will take ages to finish, which of course increases the product's value on a per-use basis.

Would I buy it? I might. If I travelled as much these days as I used to, I would because it's so versatile. But I do have other great products that perform similar functions to this one, and I'm not sure that it's earned a permanent place in my collection. While it does a great job and I feel that it meets all its claims, it hasn't far out-performed other products and I prefer supporting homegrown brands and local outlets when I can. 

Having said this, I would seek out the Argo Naturals Rose Water Tonic because I feel it's a stand-out, and as mentioned, this Pure Thanaka Powder is still growing on me so it may yet become a must-have in my skincare armoury.

A great product.

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