Ellagic acid, a polyphenol compound present in berries and pomegranate, has received attention as an agent that may have potential bioactivities preventing chronic diseases. This study examined photoprotective effects of ellagic acid on collagen breakdown and inflammatory responses in UV (ultraviolet)-B irradiated human skin cells and hairless mice. Ellagic acid attenuated the UV-B-induced toxicity of HaCaT keratinocytes and human dermal fibroblasts. Non-toxic ellagic acid markedly prevented collagen degradation by blocking matrix metalloproteinase production in UV-B-exposed fibroblasts. Anti-wrinkle activity of ellagic acid was further investigated in hairless mice exposed to UV-B, in which it attenuated UV-B-triggered skin wrinkle formation and epidermal thickening. Topical application of 10 micromol/l ellagic acid diminished production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-6, and blocked infiltration of inflammatory macrophages in the integuments of SKH-1 hairless mice exposed to UV-B for 8 weeks. In addition, this compound mitigated inflammatory intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression in UV-B-irradiated keratinocytes and photoaged mouse epidermis. These results demonstrate that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B. Therefore, dietary and pharmacological interventions with berries rich in ellagic acid may be promising treatment strategies interrupting skin wrinkle and inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing.