Closed cell polymer foam skin thickness can be assessed by taking backscatter electron (BSE) images in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) at a series of accelerating voltages. Under a given set of experimental conditions, the electron beam mostly passes through thin polymer skin cell walls. That cell appears dark compared to adjacent thicker-skinned cells. Higher accelerating voltages lead to a thicker skin being penetrated. Monte Carlo modeling of beam-sample interactions indicates that at 5 keV, skin less than ∼0.5 μm in thickness will appear dark, whereas imaging at 30 keV allows skin thicknesses up to ∼4 μm to be identified. The distribution of skin thickness can be assessed over square millimeters of foam surface in this manner. Qualitative comparisons of the skin thicknesses of samples can be made with a simple visual inspection of the images. A semiquantitative comparison is possible by applying image analysis. The proposed method is applied to two example foams. Characterizing foam skin thickness by this method is possible using any SEM that is capable of collecting useful BSE images over a range of accelerating voltages. Imaging in low vacuum, where an electrically conductive metal coating is not required, leads to more sensitivity in skin thickness characterization.