Photo Courtesy of Landon Donovan
Pro soccer stud Landon Donovan is encouraging men to become pros at sun protection. He teamed up with The Skin Cancer Foundation and Energizer Personal Care, the makers of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens, to launch “Sun Blunders,” a public awareness campaign that aims to educate people on proper sun protection. In its second year, the campaign includes an educational video featuring Landon with his father Tim, a skin cancer survivor, speaking on the dangers of the sun. We stole a few minutes to chat with the athlete about his top sun protection tips.
Tell us more about the campaign. “I’ve partnered with The Skin Cancer Foundation and Energizer Personal Care for the second year in a row, to teach men about the importance of sun protection. Many people don’t realize that melanoma is the fifth common cancer among men, and in a survey by The Skin Cancer Foundation, almost half of males admitted to not wearing sunscreen in the past year. My father, Tim Donovan, used to be one of those men, and this year, he’s joining me to support the campaign and share his personal skin cancer story. As we get ready for the upcoming games in Brazil, I’m also excited to share that from now through July, Energizer Personal Care will be making a $5,000 donation for every goal scored by the USA Soccer Team [up to $50,000!]. Funds will be given to The Skin Cancer Foundation in support of skin cancer research and education. More information can be found at SunBlunders.com.”
How important is sunscreen to you? “Skin cancer has always been an important issue to me but it really became personal when my father was diagnosed with skin cancer a few years back. Thankfully, the doctors caught it early and he is doing great now. With my family history, and as a soccer player who spends a lot of my time outside, I definitely need to be careful in the sun and use protection. You don’t have to play an outdoor sport or be at the beach to get a sunburn, though, it can happen during everyday activities like walking the dog. I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing sunscreen and remembering to stay safe outside in the sun by throwing on a hat or wearing long sleeves on particularly sunny days.”
What do you look for in a sunscreen formula? “I prefer to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher—especially while I’m out on the soccer field in the direct sunlight.”
People always forget to reapply. Do you have any tricks for remembering? “I make sunscreen application part of my morning routine to make sure I’m covered at the beginning of the day, and I keep sunscreen in the locker room and in the car to make it convenient to reapply while I’m on the go. It’s taken a bit of practice to get into a routine, but I make it a rule to re-apply during half time at games and in the middle of practice.”