Origins Modern Friction: Fab Skin Results, But…

Origins’ Modern Frictionicon ($37.00) is a super citrus-scented exfoliant that uses rice starch to help slough off dead skin cells. You might remember I posted about this product a few months ago, as I bought it for my younger sister after she fell in love with the difference it made on her hand (she tried it in-store). Being a beauty addict, I figured she couldn’t have all the fun, so I had to get my own jar to try, too!

The product leaves me a little torn, because sometimes I find it seems too acidic that my eyes tear/sting a little just from the scent (because I definitely don’t use this near my eyes–at least not deliberately!). I think I must be particularly sensitive to an ingredient in there that causes that problem, so it probably isn’t something the average person would experience. Also, I do find it can be too harsh/abrasive when used dry (I find myself having to use water to soften it a bit). Origins says it is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” but it doesn’t feel that gentle to me. I love to exfoliate–and I have a whole slew (err, bin) of exfoliants and scrubs for face and body–so I’m no stranger to the feeling!

But on the other hand, my skin feels ridiculously smooth and instantly brightened post-use. The product is designed to be used over dry, clean skin two to three times a week. They do mention to use it over damp skin if you have more sensitive skin. After you’ve rubbed the product in, work it into a lather with a splash of water, then rinse. It really can be an amazing product to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin, so I definitely suggest stopping by your local Origins’ counter/store and getting a sample if you can.

It’s easy to use, but I know a lot of people are going to be put-off by the packaging, which is a large 4 oz. tub of product, which you scoop out product of. It’s just not the most sanitary way of doing things, so be sure to wash your hands before using to minimize contamination. Personally, I wash my hands thoroughly before I start my AM/PM skincare regimen, so it’s not a huge deal, *but* the jar contains so much product you’ll have this on-hand for at least a year. You just don’t need much to get the job done (especially if you use it with water rather than just dry). So while it helps stretch out the product’s cost, it is longer than I’d like for this kind of product. I do think this is a product better off in a tube and sold in smaller sizes (obviously at an equivalent price).

Overall, I still use the product regularly, but I wouldn’t say it’s my holy grail, just because it’s a bit harsher than I’d like on my skin in particular. The results definitely make it worth checking out, and like I said, I still find myself using it periodically, because I love the way it makes my skin feel afterward. If you find it’s too harsh for your face, it does work just as excellently as a body exfoliant, too!

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About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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This sounds just like Dr. Brandt’s exfoliator. It’s kinda harsh and it smells lemon-ey, but afterwards, OH.MY.GOSH! I challenge any baby to have smoother skin than me!!!! Their prices are like 75-85 for the jar, so I’ll def. be checking origins out. Thanks for the post, I love scrubs too and especially the glow and softness afterwards!

this hurts/burns my eyes too….really badly….but the feeling after rinsing is super soft!!! also, i find using it dry almost impossible…it just sticks to my face…its a good product, but just avoid geting it to ur eyes after rinsing!!!

At least I’m not the only one! For me, it’s not that it even gets into my eyes, it’s the scent of the product that causes my eyes to burn.

i agree that it stings your eyes and I don’t know how in the world anyone would be able to use it dry. My biggest complaint with it is that after having it a couple of months the consistency turned kind of “gummy” – think paste. It’s weird. It’s a huge tub so not even close to done but I don’t feel like I can use it anymore so it’s a waste. I would definitely choose Dr. Brandt or Philosophy over this.

It does have issues even really like… MOVING when used dry. I find I’d probably use more product than I needed if I only used it dry.

Sucks about it turning gummy!

my favorite face scrub – i dampen my face so it’s not as harsh as if used dry. i’ve never had any problems with it stinging my eyes coz you’re not supposed to use it anywhere near your eyes – so i don’t *shrugs* if you close your eyes while rinsing off it won’t get in there..

It’s the scent of it – not the product getting into my eyes – the causes my eyes to burn, actually!

You know how when you chop an onion, most people’s eyes burn? It’s like that. I’m definitely not smearing the scrub on my eye lids, LOL. Ouch just thinking about it!

It has aloe in it. That may be burning your eyes. Alot of products that claim to be soothing have aloe in them but alot of people are allergic to it. I and my sister are. It’s tough trying to find products without it.

Yeay!!! Origins 🙂
Yeah… when I bought this the sales assistant was like, “becareful you don’t get this into your eyes because it will sting!” so i don’t put this anywhere near my eyes.
I agree that Modern Friction is a little bit harsher but I don’t find that there is too much difference – but this is probably because I use it only when ever I’m in the shower so the water and steam naturally softens it up. it works great on my skin though! perhaps not as well for those who have softer/thinner skin. great review! thanks 🙂

The scent is what gets my eyes to burn 🙁 I expect it would sting if it actually *got* into the eyes, though!

I find I use it in the shower, too! 🙂

I *love* this stuff and haven’t had any problem with the eyes or with it turning gummy. I agree about the packaging, though, it is definitely awkward.

I had a GWP size of this to try. I’ve used it twice (on my face staying away from the eyes) but my eyes still watered like crazy, so much that I can’t use it anymore.

Just got a sample from the Origins counter at Macy’s and it WAS a little gummy!! I didn’t like it mostly because of that and also because the beads were really big and sparse, so I felt like I was spending the whole time chasing them around my face and not really scrubbing. Does that make sense? Like everytime I put my fingers on them, they’d slink around, instead of them sloughing the dead skin from your face.
Also I tried the instant mattifier they have called Zero Oil, broke me out in minutes. Plus the ladies swore that the brand was perfect for me and promised it was gentle and didn’t really want to actually hand over the sample. They kept saying yes, yes, but it took forever to get the little thing. And guess what? Broke out anyway!

LOL, chasing them around your face! Sorry, that completely amused me.

Ugh, I hate when you break out from a new product 🙁

I’ve had good luck with the Vitamin C Micro Refiner ($25)from The Body Shop. I’ve tried both and I like it better than Modern Friction.

The citrus isn’t overly strong and hasn’t bothered my sensitive skin. I use it in the shower once or twice a week if my skin is getting flaky or breaking out. The packaging is much better, a 2.5 oz tube instead of a giant tub. The grains are really fine, more like sand, and it only takes a tiny dab for my whole face.

I tried this out today on my hand. It did feel nice and smooth but that is about it. I was worried about putting it on my face. I have oily – sensitive skin. It seemed a little too abrasive. But you’re right…it would work for the body!

I just got a free mini-facial at Origins and definitely picked one of these up! It didn’t sting my eyes though so I guess I’m lucky? We shall see but I loved the results I saw from my in-store experience. I do have non-sensitive oily skin so maybe that is the reason behind the lack of stinging.

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