The percutaneous absorption of benzoic acid across human skin in vitro was experimentally and mathematically modeled. Skin partition coefficients were measured over a range of benzoic acid concentrations in both saline and distilled water. The permeation of benzoic acid was measured across isolated stratum corneum, stratum corneum and epidermis, and split-thickness skin. These experiments demonstrated that the stratum corneum was the rate-limiting barrier and that the flux is proportional to the concentration of the undissociated species. The permeation data were analyzed with a comprehensive non-steady-state mathematical model of diffusion across skin. Two adjustable parameters, the effective skin thickness and diffusivity, were fit to the permeation data by nonlinear regression.