The stratum corneum is the outermost of the 5 layers of the epidermis and is largely responsible for the vital barrier function of the skin. Before the mid-1970's the stratum corneum was thought to be biologically inert, like a thin plastic sheet protecting the more active lower layers of the skin. In the past 30 years, and especially the past 5 years, scientists have discovered that the biological and chemical activity of the stratum corneum is very intricate and complex.
Understanding the structure and function of the stratum corneum is vital because it is the key to healthy skin and its associated attractive appearance. These illustrations will take you through the important components of the stratum corneum.