Dry, flaky skin remains one of the most common and vexing of human disorders. Although there is no unambiguous definition of this dermatosis, it is characterized by a rough, scaly, and flaky skin surface that often becomes fissured, particularly during the winter months of the year. The observation that low moisture content is a prime factor precipitating the condition was made by Irwin Blank over 50 years ago,1 and in many respects these pioneering studies heralded the dawn of moisturization research. Since that time many researchers have investigated the complex process of stratum corneum (SC) maturation in both normal and dry skin and have begun to unravel the biological and physical implications of SC moisturization.