Many younger women mentally mark dermatologist visits as being for emergencies only—a monstrous zit, a misshapen mole. Yet the evolving state of our skin demands more of a maintenance mind-set. In fact, most experts call for regular visits from age 25 on.

“The mid-20s is a good age,” says New York dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D., pointing toward the wear and tear that has occurred by then—the increasing number of moles, sun damage, and so on, which are best caught early to protect and repair. “It is common to think that we are only seen for emergencies, but we know that proactively keeping better skin helps avoid those emergencies.” Here, four reasons a trip to the dermatologist might be in order—whether you need a last-minute skin savior or not.

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