The typical dermatologist visit begins with a simple question: What brings you here today? Or sometimes, with cosmetic dermatologists, it’s the more pointed: What bothers you most about your appearance?

(These keen-eyed cosmetic dermatologists specialize in elective procedures designed to make us look younger/fresher/tauter, as opposed to diagnosing and treating specific skin disorders, like acne or rosacea.) The doctor is, of course, aiming to assess our priorities — which “flaw” do we perceive to be most in need of correction?

While the savviest of skin nerds may offer up not just perceived problems (fallen cheeks and smile lines, say), but appropriate solutions (“Voluma, please, here and here“), the majority of people will dutifully, and perhaps sheepishly, report their concerns and accept their doctor’s prescribed fix.

According to top cosmetic dermatologists, however, furthering the standard dialogue with some smart questions of your own can not only fine-tune your treatment plan and make your results last longer (the dream!), but head off disappointment and save you cash, too. Bring these conversation-starters to your next appointment.