The Best Vitamin A/Retinol Facial Peels for Sensitive Skin

Vitamin A/ Retinol has become the miracle skin resurfacing ingredient. In this blog, find out what vitamin A/retinol is and what it’s used for. We’ll also cover whether it’s safe to use on sensitive skin, and we’ll also detail the best vitamin A/retinol peels that you need to try!


What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A has many physiological advantages including ensuring that every surface tissue on the body is healthy and well-maintained. This includes the skin, the gut and the eyes, to name a few.¹

There are two types of vitamin A. The first is retinoids, which is preformed vitamin A, and the second is carotenoids (proformed vitamin A). The liver converts both types into retinol.

What Does Vitamin A/Retinol Do?

In terms of the skin, vitamin A is essential for skin cells to renew and replenish themselves. It plays a vital role in keeping skin healthy, looking fresh, and functioning properly.

After being converted by the liver into retinol, the substance stimulates the production of new skin cells. It also stops skin from becoming overly dry and flaky.

Retinol is also effective at stimulating collagen production and when applied topically can help reduce wrinkles.²

Carotenoids are high in antioxidants. Additionally, they can also prevent cell damage and premature skin aging.³

Vitamin A and Sensitive Skin

Even seemingly harmless products can irritate and aggravate sensitive skin. When it comes to using retinol products, tread with caution as the ingredient has a track record of causing irritation.

“Retinol can be used by nearly everyone if it is used correctly. Start low and take it slow.”

Erin Gilbert, a New York City-based dermatologist told Allure.

If you have any queries regarding the use of retinol on your skin type, book a free consultation with our Chief Scientific Officer Eve Casha by calling 0203 963 9920. She will be able to advise you on the correct dosages, as well as the best products to use for your individual skin type.

What Is a Chemical Peel/Facial Peel?

A facial peel, also called a chemical peel, uses acid to carry out a controlled breakdown of the top layer or layers of the skin. Applying the acid loosens the bonds which hold the skin cells together. Therefore, this then results in subsequent exfoliation due to the skin cells loosening and breaking off. It has anti-aging benefits and skin texture and tone both appear more even. There’s also a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

There are 3 types of chemical peels: superficial, medium and deep. A superficial peel is the weakest, followed by medium and then deep. Deep chemical peels require the administration of IV fluids and the close monitoring of patient’s heart rates. Recovery from deep peels is intense and they should only be used once or twice in a lifetime.


Can I Have a Facial Peel if I Have Sensitive Skin?

Everyone’s skin type is different, and it’s the same story when it comes to sensitive skin. To avoid any possible irritation we recommend the PCA Skin Oxygenating Treatment, followed by a retinol booster.

This will dramatically increase cell turnover and help with skin resurfacing. However, it’s also designed to repair the skin barrier at the same time. This is great for those with sensitive skin as repairing the skin barrier helps to keep damaging microbes out, whilst keeping inflammation low.

The added retinol booster is the part that is similar to a facial peel. If you use vitamin A (retinol) for the resurfacing it’s great as it also stimulates collagen in the dermis. This repairs the skin whilst also promoting resurfacing, so is therefore a better alternative to the deep exfoliation in other peels.

People with sensitive skin could try this treatment and if there is no adverse reaction, move on to testing one of our stronger facial peels on a small patch of skin.

“When it comes to facial peels, it’s not one size fits all. Everyone’s skin and sensitivity levels is different.”

Chief Scientific Officer, Eve Casha

Can I Have a Facial Peel if I Suffer From Psoriasis, Rosacea, or Eczema?

Facial peels should be avoided by those who suffer from psoriasis, eczema or rosacea. These conditions often involve broken skin. This means that often the skin’s barrier is already damaged and at risk from microbial infections.

A broken skin barrier means that there’s an increased risk of suffering serious UV damage from sun exposure. Receiving a peel will only further accelerate this damage. With these conditions it’s vital to repair the skin barrier first before any type of exfoliation. Exfoliating will only strip the skin’s barrier more.

PCA Bespoke Signature Peel

The best at home facial peel!

This high-performance facial peel is uniquely tailored to your skin and provides an instant glow, lift, and boosts skin strength. It’s a superficial peel which means that it won’t cause any lasting damage to the lower layers of the skin, as is common with medium and deep facial peels.

The PCA Bespoke Signature Peel incorporates enzymatic, chemical, and retinoid based exfoliation to achieve optimal results. The level of exfoliation is completely customisable to suit your skin type and condition.

This clinically-proven chemical peel corrects skin damage, stimulates skin repair, and boosts collagen production. The facial treatment provides controlled skin resurfacing using self-neutralising solutions. This means the facial peel will never burn or irritate the skin, as can be common with other peels.

The peeling treatment also combines galvanic technology, ultrasound stimulation, vibrational massage and blue, red, and/or green LED light therapy at different stages of the treatment. In simple terms, this basically means that together these treatments work to smooth out facial wrinkles, tighten facial muscles, boost blood circulation, and stimulate new skin cell production.

In summary, if you have sensitive skin a facial peel may not be the best option for you. However, as mentioned everyone’s skin is different so you may not have to rule it out completely. It is best to approach peels with caution if sensitivity is an issue for you. Try a test patch first, or alternatively try our PCA Oxygenating Trio Treatment.

Author: Sam Pennington


  1. Gilbert C. What Is Vitamin A and Why Do We Need It?. Community Eye Health. 2013;26(84):65.
  2. Kim BH. Safety Evaluation and Anti-wrinkle Effects of Retinoids on SkinToxicol Res. 2010;26(1):61-66.
  3. Meinke MC, Friedrich A, Tscherch K, Haag SF, Darvin ME, Vollert H, Groth N, Lademann J, Rohn S. Influence of Dietary Carotenoids on Radical Scavenging Capacity of the Skin and Skin Lipids. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2013.
  4. Nast, C., 2021. How to Safely Use Retinols on Sensitive Skin, According to Dermatologists. [online] Allure. Available at: <>.
  5. Pennington, S., 2021. Why Medium + Deep Chemical Peels Damage Your Skin. Dermoi Skincare. [online] dermoi!. Available at: <>.
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