Hydration of the stratum corneum plays a critical role in all aspects of cosmetic dermatology as well as in certain skin diseases. Water content is of crucial importance to maintain a healthy, supple, and soft-appearing epidermal surface and barrier function. This article is the first in a series that investigates the effectiveness of the hydrodynamic significance of a new skin therapy utilizing a combination of lyophilized botanicals to prepare the facial surface for any type of resurfacing procedure and continued maintenance of the resurfacing results, or as a device to increase hydration of the epidermis when needed. The water content of stratum corneum is essential and critical to healthy skin maturation and desquamation. Conventional in vivo noninvasive test methods do not provide direct information about water penetration profiles or the effect of water on stratum corneum components that hold water. This research investigates moisture absorption rates of stratum corneum and the effects of skin hydration on the ultrastructural and microscopic changes in dermal type III collagen. It also evaluated heat shock protein (HSP) distribution through immunohistochemical analysis because the stratum corneum loses its capacity to bind water with age. The absorption tests were performed at differing times on women aged 38 to 64 years after initial face mask test material application and removal. Comparing both treated and untreated skin samples from mastectomy tissue specimens, researchers observed that treated skin samples absorbed and retained as much as 30% of the moisture presented to the surface of the skin as compared to untreated skin samples. The following observations were made between treated and untreated skin samples: substantial dermal microvascular changes, thickening of epidermal stratum corneum, flattening of dermal papillae, and water retention in collagen. The observed thickening of the epidermal stratum corneum may provide an exceptional pretreatment milieu for desquamation with any type of facial resurfacing procedure. Utilizing this technology on a weekly basis could provide an excellent posttreatment maintenance program for continued removal of dead surface skin cells and cell fragments, as well as the protein debris that tends to dull the appearance of the skin. The lyophilized botanicals provided by the face mask supply beneficial medicinal properties not found in many dermaceutical preparations.