Fucoxanthin is an important carotenoid derived from edible brown seaweeds and is used in indigenous herbal medicines. The aim of the present study was to examine the cytoprotective effects of fucoxanthin against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell damage. Fucoxanthin decreased the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species, as assessed by fl uorescence spectrometry performed after staining cultured human HaCaT keratinocytes with 2`,7`-dichlorodihydrofl uorescein diacetate. In addition, electron spin resonance spectrometry showed that fucoxanthin scavenged hydroxyl radical generated by the Fenton reaction in a cell-free system. Fucoxanthin also inhibited comet tail formation and phospho-histone H2A.X expression, suggesting that it prevents hydrogen peroxideinduced cellular DNA damage. Furthermore, the compound reduced the number of apoptotic bodies stained with Hoechst 33342, indicating that it protected keratinocytes against hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptotic cell death. Finally, fucoxanthin prevented the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. These protective actions were accompanied by the down-regulation of apoptosispromoting mediators (i.e., B-cell lymphoma-2-associated x protein, caspase-9, and caspase-3) and the up-regulation of an apoptosis inhibitor (B-cell lymphoma-2). Taken together, the results of this study suggest that fucoxanthin defends keratinocytes against oxidative damage by scavenging ROS and inhibiting apoptosis.