Long-term exposure of human skin to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in sunlight negatively impacts its appearance and function with photoaged skin having a characteristic leathery, rough appearance, with deep wrinkles. These clinical features of photodamage are thought to result from UVR-induced remodelling of the dermal extracellular matrix, particularly the elastic fibre system. There are few in vivo human data on the impact of acute UVR exposure on this fibre system and particularly solar-simulated radiation (SSR)-mediated effects. We examined the differential effect of broadband UVB and SSR on the human dermal elastic fibre system, and specifically the microfibrillar components fibrillin-1, fibulin-2 and fibulin-5. Healthy white Caucasian adults (skin type II-III) were recruited and irradiated with 3× their minimal erythema dose of broadband UVB (n = 6) or SSR (n = 6) on photoprotected buttock skin. Punch biopsies were taken 24 h after irradiation and from unirradiated control skin. Overall, histological assessment of elastic fibres revealed significantly less elastic fibre staining in broadband UVB (P = 0.004) or SSR (P = 0.04) irradiated skin compared to unirradiated control skin. Significantly less staining of fibrillin-1-positive microfibrils was also observed in the papillary dermis of UVB irradiated skin (P = 0.02) but not skin exposed to SSR. Conversely, immunohistochemistry for fibulin-5-positive microfibrils revealed significantly less expression in skin exposed to SSR (P = 0.04) but not to broadband UVB. There was no significant change in fibulin-2-positive microfibrils following either broadband UVB or SSR irradiation. Thus, broadband UVB and SSR mediate differential effects on individual components of the dermal elastic fibre network in human skin. Further human studies are required to explore the mechanisms underlying these findings and the impact of potential photoprotective agents.