Understanding skin metabolism is important when considering drug discovery and safety assessment. This review compares xenobiotic skin metabolism in ex vivo skin to reconstructed human skin and reconstructed human epidermis models, concentrating on phase I and phase II enzymes. Reports on phase I enzymes are more abundant than for phase II enzymes with mRNA and protein expression far more reported than enzyme activity. Almost all of the xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes detected in human skin are also present in liver. However, in general the relative levels are lower in skin than in liver and fewer enzymes are reported.