By  on October 12, 2007

NEW YORK — The appeal of a deep, bronze tan is fading, declared a host of beauty editors and dermatologists at the 28th Annual Skin Sense Gala Wednesday evening.

This was addressed during a public service announcement created by The Skin Cancer Foundation called "Go With Your Own Glow," which premiered during the event.

Perry Robins, M.D., president of The Skin Cancer Foundation, said if successful, the campaign would "make tanning undesirable, and perhaps obsolete." The foundation is soliciting sponsors for the effort.

More than 500 people gathered at The Pierre hotel to support the campaign and honor Colleen Goggins, worldwide chairman of the Consumer Group of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos., and Valerie Monroe, beauty director of O, The Oprah Magazine, for their efforts to promote skin health.

Goggins said Johnson & Johnson — which has a teeming skin care portfolio that includes Aveeno, Neutrogena, RoC and Lubriderm — has a long-standing interest in sun protection, and nodded to the firm's latest sun care technology, Helioplex, which is designed to prevent UVA rays from penetrating the skin. She said making sun protection easier and more comfortable to wear will encourage daily use. William C. Weldon, Johnson & Johnson's chairman and chief executive officer, presented Goggins with her award.

Meredith Vieira, co-host of the "Today" show, declared, "Because tanning has been so fashionable, [skin cancer prevention] has been an uphill battle." Throughout the evening, Vieira wore a diamond ring donated by A Diamond Is Forever, valued at $40,000. The ring is being auctioned on until Oct. 17. Vieira, who slipped out early, citing her 2 a.m. wake-up call for the show, said she lost a friend to skin cancer and hosted the event at the suggestion of her family dermatologist.

But not all attendees were willing to abandon their tanning habits. "The Sopranos" star Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts on the show, said he prefers the real thing to self-tanning lotions, which is why he makes a visit to his dermatologist every three months. "I love the sun, but skin cancer does, too," said Sirico, who just finished filming "The Sno Cone Stand" with Morgan Fairchild.The evening ended with a performance by singer and star of the film version of "The Phantom of the Opera" Emmy Rossum, who said skin cancer has affected several members of her family. Rossum, who wore a jeweled pink Dior couture gown, sang several songs from her album "Inside Out."

The event raised $975,000, excluding the sale of the diamond ring.

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