Dermal fibroblasts are traditionally recognized as synthesizing, remodeling and depositing collagen and extracellular matrix, the structural framework for tissues, helping to bring thickness and firmness to the skin. However, the role of fibroblasts on skin pigmentation arouses concern recently. More is known about the interactions between epidermal melanocytes and keratinocytes. This review highlights the importance of fibroblast-derived melanogenic paracrine mediators in the regulation of melanocyte activities. Fibroblasts act on melanocytes directly and indirectly through neighboring cells by secreting a large number of cytokines (SCF), proteins (DKK1, sFRP, Sema7a, CCN, FAP-α) and growth factors (KGF, HGF, bFGF, NT-3, NRG-1, TGF-β) which bind to receptors and modulate intracellular signaling cascades (MAPK/ERK, cAMP/PKA, Wnt/β-catenin, PI3K/Akt) related to melanocyte functions. These factors influence the growth, the pigmentation of melanocytes via the expression of melanin-producing enzymes and melanosome transfer, as well as their dendricity, mobility and adhesive properties. Thus, fibroblasts are implicated in both skin physiological and pathological pigmentation. In order to investigate their contribution, various in vitro models have been developed, based on cellular senescence. UV exposure, a major factor implicated in pigmentary disorders, may affect the secretory crosstalk between dermal and epithelial cells. Therefore, identification of the interactions between fibroblasts and melanocytes could provide novel insights not only for the development of melanogenic agents in the clinical and cosmetic fields, but also for a better understanding of the melanocyte biology and melanogenesis regulation. Copyright © 2017 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.