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Keywords:

  • antioxidants;
  • free radicals;
  • infrared;
  • oxidative stress;
  • skin;
  • sun protection;
  • sunlight;
  • UV;
  • visible

Summary

No one would underestimate the importance of sunlight to the evolution of life on the earth and its role in human development. However, all humans – especially individuals who are lightly pigmented or whose occupation or lifestyle exposes them to excessive amounts of sunlight – are potentially susceptible to its deleterious effects. These effects can range from acute biological responses, such as sunburn and skin tanning, to conditions resulting from chronic exposure such as photoaged skin and potentially life-threatening conditions such as skin cancer. The objective of this review is to present a concise and up-to-date perspective on the effects of UVB, UVA, visible, and infrared radiation on cutaneous biochemistry and physiology.