Serum Comparison: Motif, Cerave, Estee Lauder, and Caudalie

Reviewing the Motif Power Brightening Serum with other best luxury serums

I have very sensitive skin and tried the Power Serum, here’s what happened...

Over the years, I’ve used countless serums. More often than not, I would end up buying 3 different serums to address separate skin concerns, resulting in a 10-step skincare routine that I was never able to follow through with. What’s worse is when I used too many products consistently, I damaged my skin barrier and got rosacea in the process.  

Enter Motif’s Power Serum — an antioxidant-packed serum that boosts skin radiance through plant-powered actives. Its multi-benefit formula has a retinol-alternative called Bakuchiol which doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin like most retinoids do. It also contains a monkey fruit extract that brightens more effectively than a Vitamin C treatment.  

I was relieved to see that the entire Motif line was developed with a dermatologist. Its fragrance-free, clean, vegan formula absorbs so easily into my skin without feeling greasy or heavy. I love layering it under my makeup for an extra glow. 

With time, the Power Serum has made my skin truly feel healthier, softer, and my dark spots have visibly faded away. Here's how it compared to other serums I've tried before... 

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair ($125 / 1.7oz)

After hearing so much about this holy grail product, I was intrigued enough to try it but was left underwhelmed. It was a pricier option at $125 for 1.7 oz, so I was disappointed when I didn’t see any difference in my skin after using it for 3 weeks. While its gel-like texture absorbed into my skin nicely and didn’t irritate it, I found the fragrance too powerful. In terms of performance, I simply wanted to see more results in terms of brightening and softening. Especially considering its price, its active ingredients also seemed lackluster — it only contains Hyaluronic Acid (which can be readily found in more affordable serums) and only 3 botanical extracts.  

Hand holding the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum and comparing with other luxury serums

Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Serum ($82 / 1oz.)

I heard many great things about this product and was impressed with its milky and refreshing texture. It smelled fresh and light, and my skin looked dewier after applying it for the first time… however its benefits felt short-lived as I stopped seeing improvements in my skin after 2 weeks. My complexion seemed more even toned around my forehead, but I didn’t notice any visible reduction in the stubborn sun spots around my cheekbones. I also noticed that during the dryer months when my skin was craving an extra boost of hydration, this serum simply didn’t cut it for me anymore. While the price point is better than the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, I still wanted to find something that left my skin looking and feeling better in the long-run (and not just an immediate sensation). 

Reviewing the Caudalie vinoperfect brightening serum

The Power Serum certainly lives up to its hype. While it’s pricier at $115 for 1 oz, it's an effective and luxurious-feeling serum that continues to repair and enhance my sensitive skin even beyond its first application. I’ve been using it consistently for 3 weeks in the AM and PM, and am seeing that the dark spots on my cheekbones have faded and my skin feels deeply moisturized and softer (even when I don’t have any skincare or cosmetics on my face). I even gifted it to my mom who noticed that her melasma significantly decreased.

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