Nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a master regulator of cellular antioxidant defense systems, and activation of this transcription factor is a promising strategy for protection of skin and other organs from environmental insults. To identify efficient Nrf2 activators in keratinocytes, we combined a chemical library screen with computer-based virtual screening. Among 14 novel Nrf2 activators, the most potent compound, a nitrophenyl derivative of 2-chloro-5-nitro-N-phenyl-benzamide, was characterized with regard to its molecular mechanism of action. This compound induced the expression of cytoprotective genes in keratinocytes isolated from wild-type but not from Nrf2-deficient mice. Most importantly, it showed low toxicity and protected primary human keratinocytes from UVB-induced cell death. Therefore, it represents a potential lead compound for the development of drugs for skin protection under stress conditions. Our study demonstrates that chemical library screening combined with advanced computational similarity searching is a powerful strategy for identification of bioactive compounds, and it points toward an innovative therapeutic approach against UVB-induced skin damage.