You’ve got a lot of plans for this summer: road trips to take, local restaurants to try, friends to hang out with, vacation time to take advantage of. Really — is there any time better than summer?

Our answer is no. There is no time better than summer.

As far as we’re concerned, though, if you really want to make the most of this fab season, you also need to make a point to say hello to your dermatologist. Don’t get so caught up in all of the summer fun that you lose sight of this very important part of your health routine! Setting an appointment with your dermatologist this summer will ensure that you can look as beautiful and carefree as this woman flipping her hair in the ocean… and when you do, we’ve got your back with this list of ten questions to ask .

1. Are there any changes in my sun spots and moles? Any time you pay a visit to the dermatologist, the first order of business should be a skin check. This external exam will give your doc a chance to gauge whether or not there have been any significant changes to sun spots or moles that they’ve noticed previously. Getting an answer to this question should be your top priority. If there have been notable changes, you can talk to your dermatologist about treatment and any necessary testing. The more you know!

2. Is it safe for me to be in the sun with the prescriptions I’m taking? It’s summer, and you likely want to spend more time outside (with proper skin protection, of course). Now is a good time to check in with your dermatologist to make sure that the meds you’re taking won’t change the way your skin reacts to the sun, especially if new medications have been added to your regimen. You can also confirm that your meds are safe to take with the sun protection products you use.

3. Are there any changes you would recommend to my sun protection routine? Give your dermatologist a rundown of how you typically get ready for time in the sun. Ask for their feedback and prepare to make some changes if they think you could be doing better.

4. How often should I be exfoliating? It’s important to know how frequently you should exfoliate. Proper exfoliation ensures that your skin is ready to absorb the other products that you’re using on it, including SPF and other sun care. Everyone’s skin is different, and the ideal skin care routine is also different for all of us. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan for exfoliation based on your skin type.

5. How is my diet affecting my skin? Though not specific to sun care or sun protection, this question is important for your overall skin health. If you feel that your complexion could be better, what you’re eating might be to blame. Open up a conversation with your dermatologist about what you can do in the kitchen to boost your confidence.

6. What products should I be using? It never hurts to stock up on product (we certainly have a few that we would recommend in our store!) or to consult with an expert about what you should be using. See if your doctor has any product suggestions based on changes to your skin’s health since your last appointment.

7. Are there any moles or sun spots I should be paying closer attention to? Hopefully, your doctor hasn’t identified any spots that are already looking concerning. Even so, it might be worthwhile to ask them if there are any moles that are worth keeping an eye on going forward. That way, you can give it a little extra attention yourself and request another appointment if you see a change!

8. How should I be monitoring my moles and skin spots? See above! Ask for specific strategies from your doctor that will help you to keep an eye on any problematic spots so that you can feel informed about what’s happening with your body. Can your dermatologist offer a list of red flags that you should be aware of? Which of these red flags should be your signal that it’s time to seek an expert eye? Get empowered to be your own advocate by learning about what to look for.

9. What’s the best kind of moisturizer for me? Like exfoliating, moisturizing is crucial for almost every other aspect of your skin care routine. Find out if your dermatologist has any specific recommendations for moisturizer based on your skin type.

10. When should I come in to see you next? Don’t even think about leaving that office without another appointment on the calendar! Find out how frequently your doctor would like to see you and plan accordingly.

Which of these questions is at the top of your list for your next dermatologist appointment? Tell us on Facebook + Twitter!

Featured image: Online Marketing/Unsplash; Sunset image: Kristopher Roller/Unsplash