Ruth Manuel-Logan, Black Voices, March 29, 2010
For years there were whispers that pop sensation Michael Jackson had been dabbling with skin-lightening concoctions. Now the truth has come to light. After Jackson died last June, police investigators began snooping around the superstar’s rented digs, and they discovered a virtual pharmacy of drugs.
Mind-numbing sedatives, sleep medications and powerful painkillers were uncovered by authorities at Jackson’s L.A. mansion. But what authorities also discovered was a stash of 19 tubes of the skin-bleaching agent hydroquinone and 18 tubes of Benoquin, a skin-whitening cream commonly prescribed to those suffering from extensive vitiligo, a disease that attacks pigmentation.
Since vitiligo creates patches of depigmented skin, the creams found were used to lighten the remaining colored skin in order to achieve a more even-tone appearance.