Solar ultraviolet (UV) photons are established environmental carcinogens. Sunscreens are important solar photoprotectants and cancer chemopreventive molecular agents. The importance of efficient skin UVB (290-320 nm) photoprotection that attenuates photomutagenic events originating from direct absorption of UVB photons by DNA bases is firmly established. Cumulative evidence for the involvement of chronic UVA exposure in the causation of solar skin damage including photocarcinogenesis and photoaging now dictates the necessity for additional broadspectrum skin photoprotection that includes the UVA spectral region of sunlight. Based on the emerging consensus that broad spectrum photoprotection is an effective key component of a sun-safe strategy to reduce cumulative lifetime exposure to UV light, much effort has been directed towards the identification, development, and optimization of topical photoprotectants that prevent and attenuate solar skin damage.
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