Friction can be reduced by adding a lubricant or by smoothing and polishing surfaces, according to the HyperPhysics program at Georgia State University. For some substances, smoothing only reduces friction to a point, after which friction increases with further smoothing.
Friction is the force that causes resistance between two objects that are moving against each other. Lubricants are substances that reduce friction. These include oils, gels and waxes that create slick surfaces that move easily over one another. Some lubricants are dry. When talcum powder is applied to skin, it forms a dry lubrication that keeps skin surfaces from chafing through friction.