Skin Deep is the 28th episode of Season 8 on FOX drama soap Beverly Hills, 90210.


Donna tries to help a girl who is abusing herself with self-inflicted wounds. Brandon and Kelly argue about pornography when a sex shop opens in Beverly Hills. Valerie and David each think the other might not be romantically satisfied and go to all ends to spice up their love life.


Brandon and Steve find themselves in varying degrees of hot water with Kelly and Janet over two major events: the opening of a new Sex Shoppe in Beverly Hills, and the forthcoming nuptials of Steve's old frat brother friend Muntz. In Brandon's case, Kelly is already angry about female body issues for reasons having nothing to do with him or the sex store: her mom is planning to have cosmetic surgery to remove some saggy skin around her eyes and her younger sister Erin is dieting to achieve a perfect model-think look. She grills Brandon over the Beat's article on the sex store controversy and other matters, annoying him and making it clear they still aren't really in sync after their reconciliation. However, Brandon's fair article on the store impresses Kelly--he says the business owner is correct that he has every legal right to be there, but consumers can simply get rid of the place by not buying any of the stuff--and she ends up surprising him by bringing home some items from the store, noting that if they can bring them closer it's not a bad thing.

For Steve's side, he's very surprised to hear that Janet is fully in favor of the store and that she has a healthy sexual appetite to boot, but Janet reiterates to Steve that his chance to find out about that firsthand was gone after his lousy date behavior at the West Beverly High School reunion. Donna ends up dealing with a much more serious and dangerous image issue while she's conducting her first big fashion design show since she got fired from Child's Play. A shy assistant makes a mistake that has Donna screaming at her, and after Noah points out she overreacted, Donna goes to the assistant and sincerely apologizes. The assistant does good work but Donna becomes worried about her and learns that she is a "cutter" who deliberately wounds herself with a sharp knife to relieve psychological strain. When an arrogant photographer breaks her heart over a date she was excited about, she plans to escalate her self-mutilation, but Donna talks to her and prevents this. Donna then fires the size-0 models for the shoot and tells the assistant she's going to be one of the "normal women" taking their place for the show. And David and Valerie end up at mixed signals over the sex store, before finding it is not that bad a place.


Jason Priestley as Brandon Walsh
Jennie Garth as Kelly Taylor
Ian Ziering as Steve Sanders
Brian Austin Green as David Silver
Tori Spelling as Donna Martin
Tiffani Thiessen as Valerie Malone
Joe E. Tata as Nat Bussichio
Vincent Young as Noah Hunter

Recurring cast

Lindsay Price as Janet Sosna
Ryan Brown as Morton Muntz

Guest starring

Ann Gillespie as Jackie Taylor
Mercedes Kastner as Erin Silver
Randy Crowder as Jerry Eckersley
Jode Leigh Edwards as Monica
Christopher Maleki as Joe
Andrea Abenoza as Ricki