Choosing the best sunscreen is like picking a favorite episode of True Blood—there are just so many options. This news should make the task a lot easier: sprays, lotions, and sticks can all do an equally solid job of protecting you from the wrinkle- and cancer-causing effects of UV rays. “Since each one works, it comes down to which type you personally prefer, so you increase the odds of using it regularly,” explains Jennifer A. Stein, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
That said, all three have certain advantages that might make one a better fit for your skin type and lifestyle. Lotions and creams tend to be more hydrating—good news for women who have dry skin. Spray sunscreens score points for being super easy to apply. It’s also a goop-free option for hairy skin areas (like the nape of your neck or your guy’s chest). “Just be careful not to inhale it by spraying away from your nose,” says Stein. As for sticks, this relative newcomer to the market goes on dryer and won’t run—perfect for around your eyes. Many are wax- or petroleum-based and less likely to wear off in water.