Skin Savior

The Milky Serum That Does It All

Meet Motif: the #shelfie-worthy brand simplifying (and soothing) your skin care routine.

by Taylor Jean Stephan

As any skin care obsessive knows, the beauty industry isn’t exactly lacking when it comes to new brands or products. But Devanshi Garg Sareen experienced firsthand the negative effects of doing too much to her skin in her twenties — after adhering to a revolving and unnecessarily lengthy skin care regimen, she soon developed rosacea.

“The more products I used, the more money I spent, and the more I tried, the worse my skin got,” she explains. It’s a frustrating but relatable cycle — if we’re spending money and investing our time, shouldn’t our skin look great? This led her to the creation of her skin care brand Motif, which launched with just one product: The Abundance Plumping PhytoCeramide Cleanser

Before founding Motif, Sareen was working as an innovation consultant in big beauty boardrooms. “I noticed that in spite of skin care being a crowded space, there was still room to innovate and I knew from personal experience that there were customer needs that were being left unmet,” she says. That’s when she decided to partner with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Indy Chabra, M.D., Ph.D., and create Motif. The goal: To offer simple, evidence-backed products that are safe, gentle, and uncomplicated.

“We’re seeing our line work well for important life stages such as egg freezing, IVF, pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause, when hormones are wreaking havoc on the skin,” she adds.

The new line currently consists of just two vegan, cruelty-free, and pregnancy-safe products: a cleanser that was launched in March and a serum that was just released last month.

The brand’s latest launch is evidence of that: the Power Brightening Bicelle Serum, which was created because Sareen personally found vitamin C to be sensitizing and wasn’t able to use a retinol during her pregnancy or while breastfeeding. The power-packed, peach-colored lotion is a radiance-boosting treatment that takes the place of both.

Instead of retinol, it uses bakuchiol to boost collagen production and monkey fruit extract to deliver calming, brightening effects comparable to that of vitamin C. It’s also got brown algae, azelaic acid, and niacinamide to help with inflammation, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and sun spots. The real secret is the proprietary bicelle technology, a unique delivery system that improves the penetration of the ingredients into the skin.

The combo of ingredients is so gentle, in fact, that it’s safe for daily use, but also for patients who use it before and after cosmetic work. “The ingredients combat [any skin lesions] and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation post-procedures,” says Dr. Chabra. And it works to quickly restore the skin barrier, which can also be compromised.

The OG product, the Abundance Plumping PhytoCeramide Cleanser ($65), is a creamy, non-foaming formula that doubles as a face mask. It’s a pink-hued, floral-scented cream that’s powered by a list of natural botanicals, like gently-exfoliating pineapple ceramides (also in the serum), white orchid, luffa fruit, and licorice to provide an immediate moisture boost. The best part: you can use the cleanser as a mask, too — just leave it on for 30 seconds if you’re cleansing, or 10-plus minutes for a skin-plumping pick-me-up morning or night.

Motif’s multitasking formulas replace multiple steps in anyone’s skin care routine, but are especially ideal for anyone with sensitive skin looking for a brightening, firming boost. P.S. Keep your eyes peeled — the brand has two more innovations coming your way early next year.