We all know that exfoliation can be great for your skin, but it can be difficult to find a product that isn’t coarse and potentially damaging. But Origins Modern Friction™ ($38.50, amazon.com), an at-home dermabrasion that promises to renew and rejuvenate your skin, is a gentler way to get smooth skin.
With Origins reporting that 94% of fifty-four women reporting they would consider using this instead of undergoing clinical microdermabrasion, I had to know if it would give me super touchable skin. Overall, I really feel like it delivered. Read on to find out why.
According to the International Dermal Institute, the proteins found in rice are known mechanical exfoliants; its compounds include phytic acid and gamma-oryzanol, the first of which exfoliates by chelating (binding) calcium ions to loosen cell cohesion, effectively sloughing those dead skin cells. Phytic acid also chelates copper, which inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme that produces melanin and causes dark spots.
Since gamma-oryzanol is a ferulic acid ester, it acts as an antioxidant and helps to soften the skin and reduce itching (International Dermal Institute).
Rice starch also helps to improve the skin’s moisture. In an experiment testing its effectiveness in treating eczema and chemically damaged skin, rice starch showed a significant improvement in moisture levels, and did not change the amount of water loss in normal areas of skin, proving that it doesn’t dry out skin (Bastyr Center).
Lemon oil is typically used in skincare for its exfoliant and antioxidant properties; it exfoliates similarly to glycolic acid, inhibits tyrosinase to even out skin tone, and delivers vitamin C to the skin (Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin). It also contains a strong antioxidant compound that is capable of inhibiting free radicals both in vitro and in vivo (Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research).
Lemon oil can be irritating for some, so be wary if you have sensitive skin. And while it can be a sun sensitizer in leave-on products, something that gets washed off such as this shouldn’t cause problems (Contact Dermatitis, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology).
Aloe has been used for thousands of years for its purported benefits in medicinal, therapeutic, and skincare uses. Many studies have found it to be effective in treating burns and soothing skin (Indian Journal of Dermatology). For instance, a study found that using aloe after a microdermabrasion sped up healing time and significantly improved crusting and edema (Clinical Abstracts: Wound Healing).
For as many studies that exist to prove its benefits, there are also plenty that show the opposite. A study published by the International Journal of Radiation Oncology found that aloe was not effective in preventing dry skin in patients undergoing chemotherapy, and a comprehensive review of 10 studies left scientists underwhelmed by the lack of evidence proving whether or not it increased wound healing (Sylvester Comprehensive Medical Center). While it may not be the most effective treatment, it will at least work to soften your skin.[Related: Spotlight On: Aloe Vera]
There are plenty of upsides to using peppermint (and menthol) in skincare products. For example, it helps to soothe irritated skin, and rids the skin of impurities due to its antibacterial properties (University of Maryland Medical Center, Pakistan Journal of Botany).
Because it contains menthol, however, peppermint also reduces the skin barrier function by dilating blood vessels, which can be particularly problematic if it’s included with other irritants (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). It is also a known skin-irritant; it is used in studies as a patch test to cause contact dermatitis (Contact Dermatitis, Contact Dermatitis).[Related: Spotlight On: Menthol]
Overall Rating: 95%
After using Origins Modern Friction™, my skin felt incredibly smooth. My skin did feel a little dry after use, but it felt great after I applied a moisturizer. It’s pretty powerful, so I’d recommend first using it once a week and gradually moving up to twice or three times a week per the directions. I’d also recommend those with sensitive skin patch test it on skin in a small area (preferably covered by hair) to make sure the peppermint and lemon oil don’t irritate skin.