NEW YORK — Under the cavernous ceilings of Cipriani 42nd Street, some 550 beauty industry executives gathered Tuesday for the 2003 Skin Sense Award Gala, to honor Procter & Gamble’s Susan Arnold and Allure editor Linda Wells. The annual event raised $775,000 in support of skin cancer awareness programs.

Arnold, president of global beauty, personal care and feminine care at P&G, said that despite detection programs, sophisticated products and editorials discouraging tanning, “millions have not heard the message.”

She encouraged people to enjoy the pleasures and warmth of the sun while learning to live in harmony with it. “We need people to commit to the idea that protecting yourself from the sun is not a burden. That it can be as natural a response as holding your breath when you put your head under water,” said Arnold. She suggested fashion could play a greater role by creating great cover-ups and inspiring more hat wearing.

The fair-skinned Wells quipped that she slathers her children before they go out and leaves her husband notes “to glob on the sunscreen until you look like me.”

Cover Girl model Molly Simms hosted the event, which also recognized Family Circle magazine for its educational coverage of skin cancer.

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