Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors control many cellular and metabolic processes. They are transcription factors belonging to the family of ligand-inducible nuclear receptors. Three isotypes called PPARalpha, PPARbeta/delta and PPARgamma have been identified in lower vertebrates and mammals. They display differential tissue distribution and each of the three isotypes fulfills specific functions. PPARalpha and PPARgamma control energy homoeostasis and inflammatory responses. Their activity can be modulated by drugs such as the hypolipidaemic fibrates and the insulin sensitising thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone). Thus, these receptors are involved in the control of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. Little is known about the main function of PPARbeta, but it has been implicated in embryo implantation, tumorigenesis in the colon, reverse cholesterol transport, and recently in skin wound healing. Here, we present recent developments in the PPAR field with particular emphasis on both the function of PPARs in lipid metabolism and energy homoeostasis (PPARalpha and PPARgamma), and their role in epidermal maturation and skin wound repair (PPARalpha and PPARbeta).