A proteomic analysis of stratum corneum (SC) samples of normal healthy skin revealed the presence of more than 70 proteins by 2D electrophoresis. The majority of these proteins to our knowledge have not yet been described in normal SC. We analysed by Western blot the levels of 25 proteins in the SC taken from postmenopausal and dry skin compared with young and normal skin, respectively. In postmenopausal skin, there was a significantly increased amount of heat shock protein 27, plakoglobin and desmoglein 1, whereas transglutaminase 3, apolipoprotein D and acid ceramidase levels were significantly reduced compared with the SC of young skin. We confirmed corneodesmosin as a marker of dry skin. In addition, we showed for the first time that the levels of both phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 and annexin A2 were significantly increased in the SC of dry skin compared with the SC of normal skin. These results suggest that a proteomic analysis of the SC obtained using a non-invasive varnish stripping method is an attractive alternative to invasive methods to better characterize changes in the physiology of ageing and dry skin.