This week, we honor classic beauty Merle Oberon.
A famous actress of the late 1930's, Oberon was a both beautiful and talented. She is known for both her gorgeous good looks as well as her performances in Wuthering Heights as well as her Academy Award nomination for her role in Dark Angel.
Oberon also had controversy swirl around her birth and national origin. Concealing her true Anglo-Indian heritage, the truth of the famous actress' lineage would be revealed years later. It is said that Oberon feared sharing the truth of her mixed-race heritage, as she believed it would negatively affect her acting career at the time.
It was an attempt to conceal her heritage that would cause Oberon a serious beauty dilemma. According to biographers of the actress, Oberon opted to use bleaching makeup to lighten her skin complexion.
Using these creams caused Oberon to suffer painful effects for years to come. With her use of the formula beginning at an early age, it is reported that Oberon began to suffer rashes on her face, particularly around her mouth area.
Described as cosmetic poisoning, Oberon would even have to stop the filming of a movie due to the severity of the rashes on her face and neck. The actress would have to be flown to New York to undergo extensive dermabrasion treatments to alleviate the painful effects.
On addition to seeking medical help, Oberon's second husband was a film cameraman and even developed a special light to compliment his wife. The camera was designed to whiten the appearance of the skin and removed signs of scarring. Oberson's husband dubbed his invention 'the Obie'.
It is often reported that Oberon had extremely sensitive skin, which was likely a result of using skin-lightening creams. During this time, the US Food and Drug Administration discovered that products on the market contained concentrations of ammoniated mercury, likely the cause of the actress' extreme skin sensitivity.
We honor Merle Oberon, a naturally gorgeous star of the silver screen.
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