Save, Spend, Splurge | Dry/ Winter Skin Oils Edition

Hi everyone, I know we’re in mid-February and it’s probably a little bit late for this one, but as I’m typing this it’s three degrees outside and it was snowing less than a week ago. I don’t know about you, but my skin definitely still feels like winter. For those of you with dry skin, these are oils you can use all year; for some of you it will be seasonal.

We have a huge price range today. I believe the save option is the cheapest product I’ve ever featured. The products in today’s line-up are:

Superdrug’s Vitamin E Facial Oil: £2.99.

Clinique Smart Treatment Oil: £36.50.

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultra Recovery Booster: £59.

Before we begin, the Sarah Chapman product is technically a serum rather than an oil, so there are some differences in terms of texture. I decided to include it as the splurge in this post as it has many similar features and overlapping ingredients with the cheaper alternatives. It is also an oily serum; with some of the main ingredients being oils I thought it was close enough to the other products to be an alternative.

Product Overview

All the products today are 30ml, so pricing is already comparative. As with all Superdrug own brand skincare, the vitamin E oil is cruelty free, also vegan. The Clinique product, is Clinique. Sold in China, therefore is tested on animals, at least for the Chinese market. Sarah Chapman products are not tested on animals although there is no assurance that ingredients are from cruelty free providers. All the products today are made in the UK, I don’t think we’ve ever had this before, but great for those of you who are concerned about product production mileage.


As these products are all for drier skin types, they are all on the heavier side in terms of texture. The Sarah Chapman product is a thick milky texture, although it does absorb into the skin extremely quickly compared to the others. It’s worth mentioning here that as it’s technically a serum, it should absorb quicker than the other products. The Vitamin E oil has a fluid texture although it sits on the skin for a longer time. By far the slowest to absorb and feels the heaviest on the skin. As for the Clinique oil, it has quite an interesting texture. It feels very thick and heavy, although it does absorb well when it’s on the skin, so it doesn’t feel as heavy once applied.


I thought about sugar coating this one, but I can’t. I hate the packaging of the vitamin E oil. The other two options have the same kind of applicator, a pipette that you expect to find in an oil or serum. However, the Vitamin E oil doesn’t exactly have an applicator, it has a small hole in the top of the bottle which drops out the oil when you tip it upside down. It isn’t a big deal, I just find it a little messy and inconvenient. If this were a high-end product, I’d be extremely disappointed, but it’s worth remembering at this point that it’s £2.99.

The packaging overall is reflective of the different price points for the brands. The Vitamin E product is a very light pinky peach plastic with no pipette and no box. Both of the others come in a box and have pipettes; the Clinique comes in a clear plastic bottle, Sarah Chapman is a dark grey glass bottle.


I have a lot to say here. The first ingredient of the Vitamin E oil is mineral oil. Many people already have an opinion on whether that automatically excludes it from being a good product. If either of the other two had mineral oil as a main ingredient, I wouldn’t have bought them. No one should ever spend good money on a mineral oil-based product. It’s a cheap filler at best, and a pore clogger at worst. It has a bad reputation that, to be honest, I think is unfair. It isn’t an awful ingredient, but it also isn’t a good one. Which for a £2.99 product I don’t think is the end of the world.

Mineral oil essentially just sits on the skin as a barrier but doesn’t offer any nourishment. People are tricked into thinking the product is working wonders because skin feels softer but as a matter of fact, it only feels like that because you can still feel traces of the product on the skin. Once again, for £2.99 I don’t think a barrier is awful.

Other things worth noting:

  • The Vitamin E product does also contain good ingredients like the vitamin E itself, which is a great antioxidant. It also contains jojoba oil which will offer nourishment.
  • As the Sarah Chapman product is aimed at skin recovery, as well as nourishing oils, it also contains some great ingredients like oat for calming skin and reducing redness.
  • The Clinique offering contains a very wide variety of oils as main ingredients.
  • The Vitamin E product is heavily fragranced, the Clinique product is fragrance free and the Sarah Chapman product contains ingredients which make it fragranced although it doesn’t have any added fragrance.


Due to the mineral oil, the Vitamin E oil can clog the pores even on dry skin. After two weeks of daily use I noticed that my skin was starting to develop a few blackheads on my nose despite my skin being very dry. Although the fragrance is unpleasant (at least I think it is), it did not cause any irritation whatsoever on my skin, although it could for others. The Clinique oil works wonders on dry skin; the oil blend is incredibly moisturising and also doesn’t cause me any irritation. As for the Sarah Chapman product, that is amazing too. It leaves irritated, dry broken skin feeling noticeably healthier after just one use and provides great results after being used for a couple of weeks.


This is tough. If you do not have acne prone skin and are on a tight budget, there’s nothing too bad about the Vitamin E oil. However, if you do have the extra cash, I’d get one of the others. Which one depends on your specific needs as I don’t think this is as simple as one being better than the other. If your skin is dry, and by dry, I mean d-r-y, get the Clinique one. The heavy oil blend is one of the most moisturising I’ve ever used, I go back to it every winter without fail. Here’s the twist, most people with dry skin also have irritated skin. It’s part of the package, dry skin is typically more sensitive. If your skin is both dry and irritated, get the Sarah Chapman. The added ingredients like the oatmeal make it really calming as well as moisturising.

I’ve developed a true knack for not picking an outright winner with these posts.

Until tomorrow,


To see my last save, spend, splurge click here.

This post contains affiliate links.





  1. 12th February 2018 / 4:34 pm

    Amazing! I kinda need this right now. Thanks for the awesome review!

  2. 12th February 2018 / 5:14 pm

    I love facial oils, I think my favourite that I have ever tried is the Sanctuary Spa facial oil, it leaves my skin feeling so soft and hydrated in the morning, plus it smells divine! xo

  3. Ayse
    12th February 2018 / 5:15 pm

    This is a great post and my skin has been improving in the last couple weeks thank god so I don’t include oils into my skincare routine at the moment, but I have and sometimes use another version of that Vitamin E oil and agree the packaging is not the best at it can get messy! Ayse x

  4. 12th February 2018 / 5:17 pm

    I love your in depth review Sophie, it’s so helpful! I’d probably go for Clinique product, I’d pick it up in the shop as I think it looks the most appealing and love how it has a wide variety of oils in it <3 xx

    Bexa |

  5. 12th February 2018 / 5:22 pm

    These all sound like they’d really help dry Winter skin! I’ve been wanting to try some Sarah Chapman products so I might have a look into this one!- x

  6. 12th February 2018 / 5:30 pm

    This was really interesting to read! I don’t use any oils in my skincare routine at the moment so it was great to learn more about this. With the Superdrug one being only £2.99 I guess you can’t expect it to have all the fancy features with the packaging sadly. The Clinique one sounds pretty good though for the price!


  7. 12th February 2018 / 5:32 pm

    Wow I’ve never thought of using oils on my face before. I’m a massive fan of Clinique – my mums always used them and I’ve always followed suit. I’m glad you featured a product of theirs I’ll definitely be giving that a go

  8. 12th February 2018 / 5:56 pm

    Your skincare product reviews are always so lovely and in depth. Lol you talk about things I forget to check sometimes that I really should. I know you love SC and I definitely think I need to try something from the line. I have oily combo skin so sometimes the serum would come in handy for me but do you have anything you’d recommend for oily skin??

    xx Lena |

  9. 12th February 2018 / 7:58 pm

    As always, it is so handy to see 3 products reviewed side-by-side! I have recently just started using a face oil for the first time, I can’t quite believe that I never used one before because it has helped my skin immensely! It’s such a shame thst Clinique aren’t cruelty free Because otherwise I would definitely pick up the oil you’ve tried out here!

    Abbey x

  10. 12th February 2018 / 9:58 pm

    Firstly, thank you for such an incredibly in depth and detailed comparative review. It’s so useful to be able to compare three very different products side by side. The Superdrug one seems like a bargain but if it causes break outs then it’s probably a false economy. The Sarah Chapman one looks the best but Clinque is probably the best mid-range option. I don’t use oils but if I did then I know who to ask for a recommendation! Great post x

    Lisa |

  11. 13th February 2018 / 7:32 am

    This is a extremely helpful review. Thank you so much for typing it out ♥

  12. 13th February 2018 / 10:38 am

    Brilliant comparisons and you’re right, that is quite a price difference isn’t it! I simply cannot afford high end skin care but as well, I struggle with my skin due to the pill I’m on so not much does anything anyway. I have a Originals oil but literally I dunno how to use it haha xxx

  13. 13th February 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Very informative post as usual. I always learn so much about skin care here.

  14. 13th February 2018 / 1:21 pm

    Great idea for a post! I love using the kiehls midnight oil ☺️ Although I often forget to put it on! x

  15. 19th February 2018 / 7:38 am

    I love how your skin care reviews are so detailed. As someone with terribly dry skin, I love seeing the three products reviewed side by side.

  16. 19th February 2018 / 10:48 pm

    I think I’d go with the Sarah Chapman one – having dry and sensitive skin sucks so i’ll take anything that will help lol xx

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