The latest on skin photoprotection.


UV radiation is the main etiological agent of most types of skin cancer and a key factor responsible for photoaging. Photoprotection is thus critical to avoid these undesired effects. Sunscreens rank among the best photoprotective measures. Sunscreens are the main components of lotions and creams used to prevent UV-induced damage or to ameliorate its harmful effects. There are 3 types of sunscreens: physical photon blockers, antioxidants, and stimulators of repairing mechanisms. This review summarizes current topics in the development of sunscreens, with special emphasis on substances of natural origin bearing photoscreening, antioxidant, or repairing properties. The characterization of different parameters to evaluate the effects of sunscreens, such as the sunscreen protection factor, is discussed. Finally, the effect of public awareness and public health campaigns are also reviewed.