Exposing skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation contributes to photoaging and to the development of skin cancer by DNA lesions and triggering inflammatory and other harmful cellular cascades. The present study tested the ability of unique lipid molecules, polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFA), extracted from avocado, to reduce UVB-induced damage and inflammation in skin. Introducing PFA to keratinocytes prior to their exposure to UVB exerted a protective effect, increasing cell viability, decreasing the secretion of IL-6 and PGE(2), and enhancing DNA repair. In human skin explants, treating with PFA reduced significantly UV-induced cellular damage. These results support the idea that PFA can play an important role as a photo-protective agent in UV-induced skin damage.