@ocelot60- These types of creams are the same thing, in a way. You can purchase vitamin a cream that isn't retinol cream, though it is less potent and is not as effective. Basically, it is a lotion that contains vitamin a.
On the other hand, retinols are derivatives of vitamin a, and work by sloughing off the top layer of skin and allow more skin cells to regenerate. If you are interested in using this type of vitamin a lotion, your best bet is to check with your dermatologist or doctor because the varieties that work the best can only be purchased with a prescription.