Publicado por Mary Ellen Sheehan en

Royal Thanaka came to be in Community. The founders met at ICS (the International Community School). This school is an intentional and diverse community of people who are committed to justice and excellence in education. It is no surprise that the founders of Royal Thanaka continue with the commitment to justice in the world and excellence in the making and promotion of our products.

 And the community continues to grow! The support and encouragement for Royal Thanaka spans the globe. We remain rooted in our commitment to collaborate with local organizations that serve vulnerable populations. Our community is our life force. The intention of Royal Thanaka is to empower all with whom we come in contact.

 It is through our commitment to our Earth community that we use sustainable materials. Our face cream comes in a recycled glass jar with a recycled plastic lid and a biodegradable insert. We do not use ingredients made from petrochemicals and our palm oil is certified sustainable. We are committed to our Earth community as a whole. This is evident in our values: People, Planet, Product.

 We invite community and collaboration! Feel free to participate in the Royal Thanaka community and spread the word!

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A Bridge

Publicado por Mary Ellen Sheehan en

At the heart of the Royal Thanaka story is a bridge. Royal Thanaka is a product and it is also a movement. It is an idea born of people seeking a life free to thrive. The founders met at a place of refuge, education, and community, the International Community School (ICS). ICS was created to be a place of excellent education in an environment of care amidst a beloved community, It attracted those who sought these qualities. Now, from this place, Royal Thanaka grows out into the wider world community to further the values of excellence in community - another bridge.

The product itself is a natural, and ancient remedy. It reconnects people with the healing wisdom of nature and away from harsh petrochemicals that are toxic. The key ingredient, Thanaka, is the ground bark of the Thanaka tree. It has provided skin care for the people of Burma for 2,000 years. The Thanaka tree is a bridge to all who seek clean skin care. Royal Thanaka puts hope into motion. Through the process of creating a real product from an ancient process, people and planet benefit. This is the bridge from ancient wisdom to modern practice. The healthy and beneficial ingredient, Thanaka, is reef-safe as well as non-trans dermal. Royal Thanaka is a bridge to connect people and planet.

While setting aside a portion of each sale for ICS, Royal Thanaka plans to generate more connections to the community. This bridge will allow other social enterprises such as, to benefit through working with Royal Thanaka for the benefit of all. Ultimately, through a manufacturing facility and handcrafted artisanship there will be the beginning of work that pays a living wage. This bridge to ownership and economic freedom honors the sanctity and dignity of work.

Join with us by creating bridges to the wider community!


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Our Laboratory

Publicado por Mary Ellen Sheehan en

We would like to introduce you to the lab that is developing our products. The US Botanical Safety Lab in collaboration with Bent Creek Institute is located in Candler, North Carolina. It is nestled in the beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, just south of Asheville. USBSL is a non-profit botanical ingredient testing laboratory. Bent Creek Institute is a collaborator of the North Carolina Arboretum and an affiliate of the University of North Carolina.

A year and a half ago Amanda Vickers, the Director of the lab, welcomed us to the lab and institute. She also introduced us to the Executive Director of the North Carolina Arboretum, George Briggs, who greeted us with our own slogan, “Think Like a Tree.”  We met together in an office overlooking the Pisgah National Forest while he shared the history and goals of the arboretum with us.

Don Decker is our lead chemist and has developed our Ultra Rich Moisturizing Cream and is working on an SPF 30 sunscreen. Morgan Tompkins is Quality Manager and works on fragrance development. We are excited about fragrance development as we have some Thanaka ideas for fragrance!

We are delighted with this partnership and look forward to developing new products together.

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Among the Trees

Publicado por Mary Ellen Sheehan en

On February 3, 2017 Myo (Mew) went to Mandalay to meet with U Saw Sein Aung, an expert with extensive knowledge of Thanaka. He guided Myo through the whole trip and process of acquiring Thanaka for Royal Thanaka. They made their way to Pakokku, Myanmar. Myo spent the afternoon touring acres of Thanaka trees. Some of the trees were wild and some were farmed. He eventually chose farmed trees with the healthiest looking bark. Select branches were chosen and pruned with care to be sure that tree growth continued and flourished. They were then transported to Rangoon (Yangon).

In Rangoon the wood was rinsed with rainwater and dried under the sun. After drying, the bark was removed. Then the bark and core were separately dried a second time in a drying oven. They were then ground into powder and shipped to the US according to USDA guidelines.

Through this process, Myo and his US partners created Royal Thanaka, an international business benefitting people in Burma and the US. Royal Thanaka is committed to skincare products that are safe for skin and planet.   

Royal Thanaka, good for our skin, good for our earth. Live intentionally with the ancient wisdom of trees”

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Creating Royal Thanaka: What is Thanaka?

Publicado por Mary Ellen Sheehan en

Htwe in Berma

The people of Burma (Myanmar) have been using Thanaka for over 2,000 years. The earliest literary reference to the Thanaka tree is in a 14th century Burmese poem. It has been and is still used for skin protection, hydration, and decoration.

We are introducing Thanaka from the Limonia Acidissima or Hesperethusa Crenulata tree in our face cream. It is a tree indigenous to Burma (Myanmar). Traditionally the wood and bark of the tree are ground into a powder on a circular stone slab. Water is added and the ground powder becomes a paste. The paste is immediately applied to the skin, leaving a yellow crust with a fragrance similar to Sandalwood. Thanaka is applied to the face and sometimes to the entire body, providing cooling during hot weather.

Royal Thanaka chemists have made extracts from Thanaka, for our products. Our Ultra Rich Moisturizing Cream is infused with the protective and nourishing properties of Thanaka. The lightweight smooth texture melts into your skin to nourish and protect while soothing any irritation that may be present.


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