Skin Deep: Best Products to Clean, Protect and Hydrate Your Face

Beauty is only skin deep. At least that’s what Sir Thomas Overbury said in his poem “A Wife” in 1613, and we’ve been talking about it since then.

So, beauty is only skin deep. But you’ve got to start somewhere …

The real question is—where do you start? Mrs. Overbury would have been as overwhelmed as we are if faced with even the tiniest sampling of the skin care options we have today.


A requiem to retinol? A sonnet to vitamin C and serums? Perhaps a poem for peptides? A lovely lyric to lipids? Separating the poetry from the potions is the real problem, right?

Every time I start to read a sentence about oils being lipophilic, my eyes glaze over.

Educating ourselves without falling into the bottle that holds the miracle is the real challenge. I recommend starting with three simple questions.

  1.  How much do you care?
  2. What do you care about most?
  3. What are you willing to do about it?

Some women are willing to spend time on their skin that others wouldn’t dream of doing. You may spend 45 minutes before bed mixing potions and lotions or 45 seconds washing off your makeup. It’s up to you. Either way, those three questions can guide your choices. Answer them and then consider these basics:


Starting and ending your day with a clean slate is always a good idea. Choose a cleanser based on your skin type. These are tried and true.


Recently I was reading a Q&A with a leading dermatologist. Here are his thoughts on sun and aging …
Q. Is the sun responsible for all signs of aging skin?
A. Damn near.

UV and environmental protection are needed 365 days a year. Rain and shine. Dermatologists agree that an SPF of not less than 30 with “full spectrum coverage” is essential. I like to get my daily moisturizer and sunscreen in one product to save a step and even a few dollars. These are light enough to work on all skin types and work well under makeup or alone.


Hydration is the one thing that we know for certain that we can do for our skin to improve its function and appearance. Of course, the best way to hydrate your skin is to hydrate your body. Drink Water.

Since your daytime moisturizer and sunscreen are taken care of, you can feed your skin a more high calorie diet at night. Check these out.


I have a pretty intense skin care routine. Judge away, if you must. It doesn’t take 45 minutes, but it’s what I want to do. There’s nothing poetic about it, although it could be a pretty funny limerick. And in my next article, I’ll tell you more about it.

Until then, I’ll leave you with a few words of advice from the great fashion editor, Diana Vreeland:

You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend or husband, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother; you don’t owe it to your children, and you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female.”

But, it is something you can do for yourself.


About Tonya Riner

Tonya Riner started doing makeup as a teenager in her two-stoplight hometown in Kansas. From there, she declared herself a professional, and has spent the last twenty-five years on fashion shoots and shows, on both coasts, and in Europe. Tonya's work has been featured in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. She was included in Allure Magazine’s Directory as one of the best makeup artists in the United States. Her long list of celebrity clientele includes Heidi Klum, Erin Wasson, Julie Anderson, Rachel Hunter, Chandra North, and Lauren Bush. Backstage, she has worked alongside Frederic Fekkai and Ted Gibson. She was a member of the beauty team for Beyonce’s Blow video. For Tonya, one of the most rewarding parts of her job is spending time, one-on-one, with models and clients. She finds that ordinary barriers fall away within minutes of the start of a makeup session, leaving space for instant intimacy and the shared pursuit of beauty. Connecting with extraordinary people from all walks of life fuels her passion for her work. As a consultant, Tonya works with creative teams to devise strategies for beauty brand product development, most recently for the company, Beauty for Real. She enjoys working with products from both the manufacturing and marketing ends. Moving forward, she would like to be instrumental in the development of the kinds of beauty products she, herself, would want to use.

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