What Does The Stratum Corneum Skin Layer Do?

Trusted Health Products

Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

The stratum corneum is the outermost of the layers of the skin and the first line of defense for all the other skin layers. It is stronger than the others and has specialized cells with higher levels of keratin.

Created by several layers of skin cells, the thickness of this skin layer varies across the body and is thicker in areas that need more protection while thinner in others, such as the eyelids.

Hair and nail growth

As the outer layer of the skin, the stratum corneum is the protective layer that covers the other layers in the same way that the skin is the protective layer between your body and the rest of the world.

In some areas of the body there is more protection required, such as the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet, where they are used frequently and are most likely to become harmed.

In these areas this layer is thicker, up to 20 layers of cells thick, while in other areas that are more protected it is thinner, such as the eyelids. With the added keratin this is the layer that is responsible for the growth of hair and the nails.

When this outer layer is healthy and protected the skin helps keep the hydration within the body to avoid dehydration. It can also help shield the body from toxins entering through the skin, and it can protect against germs. The biggest risk to this area is the products we use every day that cause damage to this layer.


This one layer of skin has several parts, and each of these play an important role in the health of your body and other skin layers. The first is the corneocytes, which are mostly keratin protein that are provided by the lower levels of the epidermis in the skin.

As they rise through the layers they become stronger and are formed into a type of envelope of cells. These slough off throughout the day and have a complete turnover in about two weeks.


Surrounding the corneocytes are the desmosomes. These are the connectors that both hold the cell envelopes together and dissolve when it is time for them to shed. This allows for newer and healthier cells to take their place, and it is constantly regrowing for the next layer.

In turn, these are surrounded by lipids that offer a protective layer between the desmosomes and the corneocytes and block the products and environment from the surface of the skin from accessing the deeper layers. This barrier is a block from germs, sun damage, and toxins, and keeps the body protected and healthy.

The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis, or skin, and it offers the first line of protection against the environment, toxins, and germs from accessing the lower skin levels or from getting into your body.

To protect this layer gentle products should be used, such as soaps and moisturizers, and as it is almost completely regrown every two weeks it needs constant care.

Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tipsnatural healthoral health and skincareIf you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list

Written By:

Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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