Phenomena occurring at the interface between skin and a glass pad, alternatively moved at its surface, are described by direct observation and measured by recording the force on the pad induced by the skin displacement. Static and dynamic friction coefficients are determined as a function of the load applied on the pad. Influence on the recordings of the friction coefficient of some cosmetic treatments applied on the skin are described. Results show that discontinuous phenomena, due to compression and distortion of the skin microrelief, occur during the beginning of the sliding process. Friction coefficients are depending on the load applied on the pad. Our studies confirm the increase of friction coefficient after hydration of the skin surface and suggest that the fluctuations in the frictional force amplitude could supply an objective, although indirect, measurement of skin smoothness.