Several clinical studies have shown that exposure of skin to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes adverse effects, such as inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage. As a result, different skin disorders can arise, among which are skin cancer, including non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and melanoma (MM). Phenolic compounds are plant-derived secondary metabolites with a well-known antioxidant activity, able to counteract the negative effects of UV radiation. In this review, we discuss the effects of some selected phenols on NMSC and MM, demonstrating that they can be useful in the prevention and in the treatment of these types of tumors. Moreover, we report the mechanisms by which these phenols carry out their antitumor action. In vitro and in vivo studies have highlighted that many phenols are capable of inducing photoprotection, apoptosis and autophagy. They can also reduce DNA methylation, tumorigenesis, tumor incidence and proliferation. Moreover, we describe some examples of plant extracts, whose anticancer activity appears to be better than that of single phenols. A great concordance of results emerged, despite the differences in experimental methods. Therefore, the knowledge compiled here could provide the basis for conducting some well-organized clinical trials to validate the chemopreventive and the therapeutic potential of some phenolic compounds in patients with NMSC and MM.