Epidermal stem cells are a population of somatic stem cells responsible for maintaining and repairing the epidermis of the skin. A malfunctioning epidermal stem cell compartment results in loss of the epidermis and death of the whole organism. Since the epidermis continually renews itself by sloughing a layer of cells every day, it is in a constant state of cellular turnover and requires continual cell replacement for life. Thus, maintaining a pristine epidermal stem cell population is of prime importance, even during aging. Unlike stem cells from internal tissues, epidermal stem cells show little response to aging. They do not appear to decrease in number or functionality with age, and do not show changes in gene expression, developmental responsiveness, or age-associated increases of reactive oxygen species. Thus, epidermal stem cells may be a unique somatic stem cell.