Oxidative stress and inflammatory tissue damage are two major events frequently implicated in carcinogenesis. Numerous polyphenolic compounds derived from plants possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and are hence effective in preventing cancer. Oligonol is a polyphenol formulation enriched with catechin-type oligomers. As an initial approach to assess the chemopreventive potential of oligonol, we have determined its effects on inflammatory as well as oxidative damage in mouse skin irradiated with UVB. Topical application of oligonol onto the dorsal skin of male HR-1 hairless mice 30 min prior to UVB exposure diminished epidermal hyperplasia and formation of 4-hydroxynonenal, a biochemical hallmark of lipid peroxidation. Topical application of oligonol also significantly inhibited UVB-induced cyclooxygenase (COX-2) expression in mouse skin. Oligonol diminished the DNA binding of activator protein-1 (AP-1) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), and the expression of C/EBPdelta in mouse skin exposed to UVB. Our study also revealed that oligonol attenuated UVB-induced catalytic activity as well as expression of p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase. Moreover, UVB-induced phosphorylation of another upstream kinase Akt was attenuated by oligonol. Taken together, oligonol showed antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects in UVB-irradiated mouse skin by inhibiting COX-2 expression via blockade of the activation of AP-1 and C/EBP, and upstream kinases including p38 MAP kinase and Akt.