DNA repair is crucial to the integrity of the human genome. The ultraviolet radiation portion of solar radiation is responsible for the rising incidence of skin cancer, one of the most common types of cancer in humans. We applied a recently developed 32P-postlabeling technique to measure the in situ DNA repair efficiency of solar-simulated radiation induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6-4 photoproducts in the skin of nine healthy volunteers with skin type II. Our results show about 6-fold interindividual variations in the level of DNA damage after exposure to an equal biologic dose - 2 minimal erythema doses. The kinetics of DNA repair indicated a base sequence dependence of the repair process. The DNA repair efficiency showed a 20-fold difference in volunteers. An age-related decrease of DNA repair capacity was observed; however, the data are limited due to a small number of subjects and a narrow age range. The variable response in DNA damage levels and individual differences in DNA repair efficiency suggest a susceptible subgroup of people probably with a higher skin cancer risk.