What are corneocytes?

Dead skin cells can also serve as a defense for the skin, as is the case with corneocytes. These flattened cells remain in the stratum corneum as they are shed from the skin during skin renewal. However, their location after death is not accidental, as they protect the skin from the entry of external agents, microorganisms and chemical substances.

Function of corneocytes

The resistance of corneocytes and what gives them the ability to protect the skin comes from keratin, a protein that is the main component of these cells.

As corneocytes move into the epidermis, they lose water, dehydrate and lose their nuclei. This causes them to change their flattened shape and eventually detach from the skin.

However, when corneocytes are not properly removed, they can accumulate and form a thick, scaly layer on the skin, as in psoriasis. On the other hand, when the horny layer is weakened, as in dry skin, the corneocytes become dehydrated and shed more easily, which can result in rough, flaky skin.

How are corneocytes formed?

Corneocytes are produced in the lower layer of the epidermis and then move to the surface of the skin, where they accumulate and form a protective layer. As the corneocytes move to the surface of the skin, they dehydrate and compact to form a tough, water-resistant structure.

Commitment to quality

This text on corneocytes was written by professional editors and reviewed by Sisneo’s medical-aesthetic team. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.

At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.

Among others, we have used the following references:

  • Évora AS, Adams MJ, Johnson SA, Zhang Z. «Corneocytes: Relationship between Structural and Biomechanical Properties en Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2021;34(3):146-161. doi: 10.1159/000513054.