Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here. Written by a bipolar person themselves.

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When it comes to our skin, we all want to be “flawless.” So, when we were told that by simply living our lives we could be causing hyperpigmentation (better known as dark spots or melasma), we kind of freaked out. Stress causes a bevvy of issues, but it can also cause uneven skin tone? Ugh. We consulted dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, of his namesake dermatology practice (and maker of those cultishly popular Alpha Beta Glow Pads), to get real about how we’re secretly letting hyperpigmentation into our (skin’s) lives.

MORE: The Experts Guide To Getting Rid of Acne Scars

In case you needed a better explanation for hyperpigmenation, Dr. Gross added a new moniker for it: “Warning flags—created by your body to inform you that it is injured or under attack.” It all starts with Melanin (the protein that gives your skin color) and how its production goes into…

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