|The concept of systemic photoprotection by dietary means is gaining momentum. Skin is continuously exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the major cause of skin disorders such as sunburn, photodamage, and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Most of the erythemal annual UV dose is encountered under nonvacation conditions, when no sunscreen is applied.
In the absence of topically added compounds, skin protection depends solely on endogenous defense. Micronutrients can act as UV absorbers, as antioxidants, or can modulate signaling pathways elicited upon UV exposure. UV-induced erythema is a suitable parameter to assess photoprotection.
Dietary protection is provided by carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbate, flavonoids, or n-3 fatty acids, contributing to maintenance resistance as part of lifelong protection.