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Diaper Basics: Another Look at Incontinence Skincare – Part 6 – Tena

With some considerable ground already covered and several of the “big players” in the field of incontinence related products already having had their due, the next one in line is Tena.

General Observations

Like it has been the case with other skincare product series, Tena‘s offering is equally uneven and sort of incomplete. Things seem never to come together in one place, or in this case from a single vendor, respectively. You always have to mix and match. The part that Tena brings to the table are some paper-based products that aren’t that bad and perhaps an interesting barrier product. We’ll find out more on that later.

As far as commonalities between the products go, the most noticeable is a lemongrass scent which depending on the situation and specific product can be anything from okay to pretty annoying. Its intensity depends a lot on how long stays on your skin, so it’s more bearable when it quickly dissipates after a shower and in turn much less acceptable when your entire body smells of it, at least for me. Depending on your preference it may be just fine, but I’m hyper-sensitive to odours and get easily aggravated over them.

The package designs are contemporary and almost stylish, yet the color coding at times feels a bit unnecessary, given the limited selection of items. It’s not too much of a stretch of imagination to envision them all being just blue, even more so since the differentiation in some areas is limited, to say the least. Imagine a care nurse under stress taking a shampoo cap from the storage room instead of wet washing gloves and only realising the mistake in the patient’s room after a long walk! ;-)

Cleaning Products

Tena Skincare, Shower GelThe water-based cleaning department is represented by a single product – a combined shampoo and shower gel. Matching the color of the sticker on the bottle and the pump at the top it has been tinted green, but that’s pretty much all there is. I found it easy enough to use and it’s economical, lasting for quite a bit of time, but it has no specific hidden powers or secret ingredients that would e.g. make it easier to get rid of zinc cream.

 

 

 

Waterless cleaning features the same products commonly employed by pretty much everyone – a wet wipes, variations on the theme with wet washing gloves, foam spray and an emulsion. The latter comes in two package sizes, one as a 250 ml tube and the other as a 500 ml dispenser bottle. The wash cream is pretty “neutral” in the sense that it is neither particularly oily nor very water-y, providing a good middle-ground for most of these tasks. It is also very mild, so there is no risk of skin irritations should you not get it off right away. Sometimes this happens when I get a phone call at inconvenient times and then wander around my flat half-naked with these products still on my skin.

Tena Skincare, Waterless Cleaning Products

The foam is a different matter, and to be brutally honest, I found it mostly useless. It is extremely unstable, barely leaving you a blink-of-an-eye moment to apply it correctly. Its bubbles begin to collapse immediately as soon as they hit the skin, leaving you with a wet puddle. This behavior also makes it impossible to apply the product indirectly via your fingers – that dab of foam literally melts on your fingertips. To make matters worse. the spray can again is of the stand-on-your-head variety as opposed to what would be a more useful perpendicular nozzle. Still, even if it were, getting the foam where you need it would require some practice and experience. As it is currently, this product needs some major attention and is clearly a candidate for a major overhaul.

Tena Skincare, Wet Wipes

The wet wipes are a bit of an oddity as they feel a bit “dry” when taken out of the package even though they actually aren’t. Of course I’m not complaining about this, as I’m not friends with soaking wet wipes. So arguably I should perhaps just shut up about it and accept things as they are. I’ll be the first to admit that. ;-) One advantage of this perceived dryness is the need to really proactively rub the wipes on the skin instead of just letting the cloth slide. Therefore the actual cleansing effect should in fact be even better. The downside could be that for people with very thin or sensitive skin this could already be too much and they could experience painful abrasions or their coarse skin cracking open. Tis is really a “your mileage may vary” thing in the end.

Tena Skincare, Wet Gloves

The wet wash gloves are an extension of the previous item and where Hartmann ask you to use up to eight of these things, Tena only require five of them by ways of a somewhat convoluted, or if you will elaborate, scheme of using the front and back sides of a single glove. Which is better is for the practitioners to decide since naturally for our purpose of cleaning the intimate regions inbetween diaper changes just one glove will do just fine most of the time. Here you even get to pick between the standard scent and an odourless variant.

Tena Skincare, Shampoo Cap

Finally, there’s the shampoo cap mentioned earlier. Since I have very short, cropped hair I haven’t found a good excuse to actually use it, so I can’t offer any first-hand experience. This is by all means intended as a hair fresh-up for bedridden or otherwise immobilized people who may be too weak to make it to the bathroom. I would imagine, though, that in a pinch it could be used when you’re stuck camping out in nature or on a summer festival and access to water is limited. The product can be used both warmed up in a microwave or cold fresh out of the bag.

Complementary Paper Products

This section is one of the more unique things about Tena‘s portfolio that so far I like a lot. Okay, granted, you can find these paper products from other manufacturers, too, but typically they are more marketed for medical use than homecare/ incontinence care. What also makes this particular product line stand out is that they come in boxes. Yes, you heard me right, plain old cardboard boxes with die-cut tear-open fronts that make it easy to take out an item even if you only pincer it with your oily, dirty fingers. No awkward foil bags, no nonsense. You really will appreciate what a godsend this can be when you are in a situation where you just want to reach for that dry wipe without contaminating something else. The only real downside is the bulkiness, but I’m sure you can make place on your shelf or bedstand.

Tena Skincare, Wash Gloves

The first, and at this point having become mundane, item are the washing gloves. They are available as a foil-lined version and one without. Just look at those huge numbers! Used sparingly, a single box could last you half a year. From a practical standpoint, Tena‘s gloves feel a bit stiff so even if you only want to (mis-)use them as a dry wipe, ever so slightly moisturising them with just a drop of water will make them more comfortable to use.

Tena Skincare, Wash Gloves

On to the next – so far easily one of my favorite products in this series – the dry Soft Wipes. These are universally usable wipes for all kinds of things. They can be used dry, but just as well soaking wet. Their texture is much denser and firmer than Seni‘s Air-Laid tissues, yet they are almost as soft and gentle. I often use them as a way of getting rid of excess moisture after having used wet wipes or after having had to do a thorough wet cleaning after messy accidents in the posterior regions. The smaller version of the product is way sufficient, but you can of course indulge and get the larger flavor just as well.

Tena Skincare, Soft Wipes

Tena Skincare, Soft Wipes

The other significant product is Cellduk, a more conventional multi-layered paper product akin to napkins, Tempos/ paper hankies or the similar tissues of this sort used in the medical business e.g. as sterile swabs after blood tests to stop the bleeding once the needle has been pulled out. As such the product shares the rather coarse and rough feel of this product and while it’s possible I would not necessarily use it dry. Similar to the wash gloves this works much better if it is a bit damp. it becomes more malleable, allowing you to literally get better into every (butt-)crack. Due to its layered nature it has also a pretty good absorbency, making it an ideal candidate for wiping away all kinds of splotches and stains, which of course can include mundane household stuff like wine or ketchup as well.

Tena Skincare, Cellduk

Tena Skincare, Cellduk

Truth be told, none of these paper products are admittedly essential and there’s nothing wrong with holding on to your cheap household paper towels, but I find especially the Soft Wipes a nice alternative when dealing with my poopy problems. It’s more efficient to have a single large, stable piece rather than using up endless sheets of toilet paper or being afraid to poke holes into cheap paper towels, if you get my meaning. As such I’d be ready to buy this product again every time. On some level even the price would balance itself out, depending on how much toilet paper/ kitchen towels you actually use/ have to me. To me it sometimes feels like I buy a family pack of this stuff every week…

Skincare Products

The skincare department is as sparsely populated as pretty much every other area and only features two items – a lotion and a thicker cream. Neither of the two were particularly suitable for my skin type. Understandably the cream is aimed at people older than me, but even so I found it unnecessarily greasy. I have serious doubts that it would easily get absorbed even into the most dry and brittle elderly skin. On the other hand the lotion feels a bit too dry and sticky for its own good. It just doesn’t flow nicely on the skin and I inevitably ended up using an extra dab here and there to cover up spots that I didn’t catch right away. The advantage here is of course that it doesn’t feel sweaty like with some other products, so I’m a bit torn whether that’s all fine and good or if it needs to be changed.

Tena Skincare, Cream and Lotion

Skin Protection

The protective products are going to be a bit of a walk of shame for me because I honestly totally forgot about the zinc cream. At the time when I received my samples it wasn’t available anywhere and as I went along with my testing efforts, shooting the photos and other preparations for the article I lost sight of the matter. It only re-entered my conscious thoughts when I sat down for writing the text. I would argue, though, that you can’t really do much wrong with a zinc ointment, so unless I’m missing something fundamental, it probably will not be worth worrying about it too much. Still, there’s always a chance for those follow-up articles, of course.

Tena Skincare, Barrier Creams

As a saving grace (and also saving my deriere for this article), the alternative transparent barrier cream is actually pretty good. I was a bit skeptical, since it is as thick as honey on the verge of crystallizing and also looks like that – a rich golden color. As a catch, this also requires quite a bit of strength to squeeze it out of the tube. Once you have successfully managed to get a portion on your fingers it will begin to melt nicely, though, so actually applying it to the regions you want to isn’t a problem. This goes to show how finely tuned the liquifying point is to the body temperature. Once in place, the film it creates is more or less a somewhat dull/ matte layer, which is neither particularly sticky nor very slide-y like with some other products. I actually quite like it, even more so since it stays put for extended durations without requiring to be renewed. It survives multiple diaper changes if you don’t do excessive cleaning inbetween and completely rub it off.

Summary

My overall impression with the Tena skincare line is quite similar to the one from Attends – if one thing is missing, it’s a consistent user experience and some products are almost unusable. At least I consider the cleaning foam spray a total dud. Thankfully the cellulose-based products and the barrier cream make more than up for it, but still – this shouldn’t happen with such a big brand. Once again this is quite a mixed bag.

Thanks to SCA/ Essity for providing the product samples for this article.

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Diaper Test: Forsite AM:PM

Life has a way of writing its own script and so despite my best intentions, post activity on this little blog of mine took another slump. I’m not gonna bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that from being hit with some unexpected paperwork to renovating my flat partially to delays in product releases and thus unavailability for reviews to my usual health issues there have been a couple of things contributing to this and messing with my schedule. I’m hoping that this will smooth out we have a more stable flow of articles again from now, as despite all the interference of course I haven’t been entirely lazy and still worked on stuff as best as I could.

As a start we’re going to have something short and simple by ways of the Forsite AM:PM. You may ask why this should be simple. The answer to that lies in the fact that we may already have discussed the product in some form here, or, if you will, at least one of its cousins in the form of the Comficare way, way back then. I’m consciously not saying that they are the exact same product, even though the similarities are massive. Still, there are differences as well and aside from explaining those, this review also gives me an opportunity to re-evaluate my views on some things, as with experience over the years they have changed somewhat.

Forsite AM:PM, Package

When the Comficare was taken off the market, we all wondered where it went and whether it would come back. Apparently it went to Canada. ;-) At the time there was quite a debate and while even today on a logical level I perfectly understand the reasons for the cancellation, looking back at it I’d probably have a different opinion today. The fact of the matter is that, though not cheap, this product is perfectly affordable if you really want/ need it. Mind you, I’m saying that as a German where the product has been imported from China to Canada, from Canada to The Netherlands and then a package found its way to my humble home. That is to say there are a lot of surcharges on top of the original price at every step of the way and yet it is not impossible to treat yourself every once in a while to such a pack. Under those conditions it seems almost feasible they could have kept Comficare alive, but without deeper investigation of the original manufacturing/ OEM pricing even I can’t tell for certain.

Forsite AM:PM, Front

There are still twelve or ten pieces in every pack for sizes M and L, respectively. Still no XL or other sizes in sight, though. For this re-review I had only size M available, but I might want to check out the L again one day. The measurements check out and are almost perfectly identical, making this yet another strong indicator hinting at the relationship to the Comficare. And that’s where it gets interesting.

This time around I found the fit much more acceptable. There are several contributing factors. The first is of course experience. Three years in the diaper-wearing “business” is quite a bit of time and I simply know much better how I want such products to sit on my body. That also goes for products I only use rarely or ones that are completely new to me. You could probably call it some sort of muscle memory that makes this almost an instinctive thing – you just know when something isn’t right while your body is gauging the sensory impression compared to your standard product you may use every day.

The other thing related to my body is that due to some unexplained metabolic issues I have lost and keep losing weight. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s not really intentional, either. I’m still stuffing my face with lots of chocolate and other things most people consider unhealthy and still, yet the kilos keep dropping. It’s a slow burn and I still have enough reserves, but at that rate I might turn into a sexy slender beast one day. ;-) Anyway, having less fat on your body certainly makes some things easier.

Forsite AM:PM, Side View

From a technical point of view there appear to be some improvements that help with the fit, too. Without a direct comparison it’s obviously hard to verify this quantifiably, but it seems to me that the product has gone through some revisions or the manufacturing process uses different materials based on current availability. The large foil sticker on the front panel seems much more flexible and thus the product adapts better. That doesn’t change the fact that due to the very wide part between the legs that acts like a stopper it still sits somewhat low and I might be served better using a size L, but I feel there is definitely some improvement here.

The other noticeable enhancement is the absorbent pad. Again, this may either be totally coincidental or an intentional revision, but it’s very welcome, no less. One of my bigger criticisms with the Comficare was that it began to smell noticeably after a while for the simple fact that the chemicals in the pad seemed to decompose. This happened even if you hadn’t really exhausted the full capacity, so it was definitely a process that mostly depended on the actual wearing time and things like body heat more than how stinky your urine was. This seems to have been rectified and I now have much less of an urge to rip of my diaper prematurely.

Forsite AM:PM, Back

The rest is very much like I remember it from back then. True to its word, this is probably still the product with the highest overall absorption that is available on the market. There may be others that I don’t know yet, but for now I think this is the benchmark. The tiny enhancements have made this even better, so there’s really nothing to say against this product other than that it feels a bit old-fashioned at times from the overall shape to it being foil-based. As it turns out, that’s not always a bad thing and almost makes you wish there were more products like this available…

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The Space-y Onesie heads out there!

The space/ fantasy onesie from our little contest is now in the process of finding its new lucky owner. A winner has been drawn and if all goes well, as mail-laden rocket will be sent off to its new home (planet). Thanks to everyone who participated and no worries, the next giveaway is already lined up. That is in all sincerity no April Fool’s joke, so keep an eye out and tune in from time to time to not miss anything. Also happy Easter to everyone (or what remains of it)!

Giveaway Time: Space-y Onesie

While most people who follow my blogs are quiet readers and that probably won’t change, occasionally someone steps forward and proactively gets in touch with me to offer some kind words and a bit of support. That’s how I got this space/ fantasy themed onesie intended to be reviewed for my onesies series. Unfortunately the size monster struck again and it is way too small for me, so I’m giving this well-intentioned, but unfortunately for me not usable present away.

Onesie ABDL-Factory

The onesie is a size M and the model can be bought from ABDLFactory (among other things of course ;-) ). After checking, I figured that once again I probably would need an XL or at the very least an L. This means that this particular example is for smaller persons not taller than 1.7 m body height. The material is a mix of polyester fibre and Elasthane, so there is some room for variation. It should also take care of the onesie feeling cosy enough, despite appearing somewhat thin.

Onesie ABDL-Factory, Front

As the second picture clearly shows, the quality is pretty good with this article being almost perfectly symmetrical and no crooked seams. If you like that and the design is up your alley, then fill out the little registration form and maybe you are the lucky winner of our little draw:

The contest is closed and the contact form has been removed to prevent abuse. Thanks for your interest!

The contest is open to everyone as long as the shipping cost would exceed the value of the product, meaning everything continental Europe, the UK and EU countries in particular is probably okay. If you live somewhere exotic you can still participate, but you may need to (partially) cover extra shipping cost if it requires more than a simple padded envelope and a “heavy letter” fee. Deadline for entry is Sunday, April 1st 2018. The winner will be picked and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck to everyone!

Legal notice: By entering the contest you agree to the terms and conditions laid out before and allow your contact information to be stored until the winner has been successfully contacted and accepted his prize. After that date the data will be deleted/ destroyed in compliance with privacy regulations and accepted best practices.

 

Diaper Basics: Another Look at Incontinence Skincare – Part 5 – Hartmann

My good intentions after having made it through my medication change (with limited improvement so far) were once again thwarted by having had contracted a cold and thus things not progressing as originally planned. Therefore I’m once more late to the party (i.e. this week’s article), but I hope the content makes up for it.

Before we begin, an important note. Shortly before I was ready to publish this write-up, Hartmann changed the branding on their skincare products from Menalind to MoliCare Skin. Due to the time it takes to prepare the articles and the inevitable delays and postponements related to my ability to actually work on stuff, in this review everything is based on the original Menalind versions. To make it easier to correlate the new package designs to the old ones, I have created montages based on Hartmann‘s official marketing photos where each product is in the same place as in mine.

The only differences should be the depicted package sizes plus any other changes/ improvements like e.g. newly added pump dispensers on some products. Otherwise I’m simply assuming that the products themselves haven’t changed with regards to their chemical composition, application and use or things like their scent. I’m working on having that verified, so perhaps soon-ish there will be a short follow-up. This might also include the additional products like the shampoo or the body oil then which I didn’t have for this article. Until this happens, refer to the official Hartmann web pages for further information.

General Observations

The Menalind/ MoliCare Skin products are structured according to the typical steps involved in personal hygiene and skincare – clean, protect and care, with an emphasis on the cleaning and protecting parts. In deviation from my usual practice I will also use those as the section headers in this article. Each sub-set is consistently color-coded to eliminate or at least minimize the risk of mixing things up. Both color schemes are reasonably restraint and have an air of high-class, high-quality products, even more so with the pastell-y tones on the MoliCare Skin versions. Had they not ruined it by plastering their multi-lingual texts all over the place, this would be even more posh.

The package sizes follow the same pattern as with most other vendors with most liquid products coming in 200 ml to 500 ml bottles and tubes. A few products are available in two sizes – one big, one small – which extends to the body lotion and washing lotion at this point. There might be others at some point in the future. At least I’m inclined to think that for some items, but more on that where it’s relevant.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me is the consistent olfactory experience with these products, meaning they have a very pleasant scent to begin with and it is shared across multiple entries in the range. That makes it easy to predict how your skin will smell and interact with other odours from your perfume or other cosmetics products plus it spares you from having to deal with all too pushy/ stingy vapors and fumes when releasing the products from their vessels or packages. Most products have a very subtle and pleasing “sweet almond” kind of scent with the occasional exception from that rule.

Clean

In this department the usual suspects abound – wet wipes, (wet) washing gloves, cleansing foam, washing lotion and even a bathing essence. The wipes come in a pack of fifty and size-wise are more in line with what we had with Seni rather than Attends. This means they are a) relatively large and you are going to need fewer of them for one cleaning pass and b) they are also rather wet. As you know, the latter point is something that I tend to view a bit critical due to prolonged drying times and too much moisture on the skin potentially having ill effects, so I would advise to use the wipes sparingly and cautiously.

Menalind clean, Wet Wipes MoliCare Skin clean, Wet Wipes

The washing gloves are essentially identical to the wipes, only that they are formed as a two-sided slip-on hood. The reason there are eight in a pack is that they are originally meant to be used all in one go for a bed bath from head to toe separated by individual body regions. For our usage scenario this will of course rarely ever be the case and you’ll only use one at a time to wipe down your intimate regions.

Both pre-moisturized products benefit from letting them “breathe” for a bit before you actually use them. Opening the package and pulling out your pieces as far as possible will let some of the excess moisture evaporate. This will help the perfume scent to unfold and flatten out and it makes the products, in particular the gloves, feel less clammy and awkward on/ in your hands. As always – after use dispose them with your regular trash, not the recyclables or biological waste.

Menalind clean, Washing Gloves MoliCare Skin clean, Washing Gloves

The cleaning foam shares the somewhat awkward “stand on your head” spraying mechanism I was already critical of with Seni. At least when trying to use the spray on yourself hitting the right spots directly out of the spray can can be tricky and takes practice. Thankfully this is slightly mitigated by the consistency of the foam, which is very fine and stable. This allows it to be spread out indirectly by putting a dab on your hand and taking it where it needs to go. Also note that the foam feels and behaves slightly oily/ creamy and thus can be wiped off easily once it has worked its magic, leaving a smooth feeling skin (as opposed to some other products that leave the skin coarse and dried out).

Menalind clean, Various Products MoliCare Skin clean, Various Products

A last few words go to the bathing essence and washing lotion, both products which are by no means essential, at least not for what we have in mind. This is mostly just for the sake of completeness. The lotion is almost perfectly clear and while it does the job, it is a bit frustrating to use in my opinion for the simple fact that it barely produces any foam. Sure, sometimes the industry goes out of their way to fancy up their products with additional (but technically unnecessary) ingredients like colors or foaming agents, but apparently leaving them out almost entirely also has disadvantages. If you’re not careful, it’s really tricky to keep track of which regions of your body you already have covered.

The care bath is not unlike my regular Nivea stuff that I’m using, anyway. On the package it says that you should use one cap per use, but I found this to not be sufficient. If it is in some way, then this must be a shallow puddle in your bathtub like you do when bathing babies and toddlers. I always used more and the bottle was quickly depleted. True enough, though, immersing yourself into such a bath gives nicely moisturized, smooth skin and afterwards you barely need any extra cream or lotion.

Care

The Menalind care products at the point of testing consisted only of a hand cream and body lotion. The hand product naturally would only be used after you have done all your other steps, washed your hands for one last time and then wanted to treat them to something good to compensate the degreasing effects of extensive washing and use of cleaning products.

The body lotion comes one step before that, but ultimately shares a similar purpose. In this case in fact both products feel almost identical, with the lotion being a bit less greasy and more liquid. For my type of skin this duo works quite well, in particular are the products being absorbed into the skin rather quickly and, as a bonus, once the skin is saturated you actually feel it and it won’t take more just for the sake of it. After a while you really get a positive feel for it and can use just the right amount as opposed to many more liquid-y products that either take forever to dry or leave you with the impression that your skin is a sponge that could soak up the whole contents of the bottle if need be, resulting in an infinite loop where it seems never enough.

Menalind care, Various Products MoliCare Skin care, Various Products

Protect

While they certainly qualify, Hartmann doesn’t exactly call these products “barrier creams” or something similar. That’s a fair point, though for the most part it really doesn’t change what you would use them for. Like most other manufacturers the creams come in two flavors: the usual classic zinc oxide cream and the alternative clear product based on greasy substances and a bit of paraffine. There’s really not much to explain here, but once more I was quite taken in by the well-balanced consistency of the product.

While it’s for instance easy to apply way too thick layers of zinc cream with some other products because they get sticky on the skin very fast, here the mix of the emulsion appears just right to allow a thin enough, almost disappearing layer that still somehow feels rich and not overly dry. Conversely, the transparent cream appears rather fluid out of the tube, but can be spread nicely, leaving only a thin layer of the actual insulating substances.

Menalind protect, Barrier Creams MoliCare Skin protect, Barrier Creams

The oily spray is not unlike the latter cream, just way more complicated to use in my opinion. The way I see it it’s the product that makes least sense in this portfolio. That assessment stems from the fact that it is damned difficult to apply in acceptable doses. With a steady stream jetting out of the spray head it is extremely easy to apply too much and then you are literally dripping with oil. In my case this was complicated even further because due to a tiny manufacturing discrepancy the nozzle was spraying rings instead of a solid cone. In practice both things meant that I always had to have some paper towels ready to remove excess.

Ideally I would recommend you find someone who can do the spraying and you do so while you are lying flat on a disposable bed mat or something similar, so any dripping is absorbed right away. That and that after the application you lie still for a few moments so the stuff can settle. Also note that regardless of this you may still have to take off the oily residue in some areas so it doesn’t interfere with your incontinence product and doesn’t make greasy stains on your underwear/ protective pants.

Menalind protect, Sprays MoliCare Skin protect, Sprays

The skin protector foam is a different thing and incidentally in my view would actually better fit in the care section, as its protecting qualities are limited and it really is more of a regeneration support thing for your skin. As you know I like those frothy products since they are probably the easiest way to get a thin even coat of a product and this happens almost automatically when the bubbles implode. The foam in this case is again nice and firm and quite oily, so you should have no difficulty with that.

When I first used this product I almost thought I did something wrong or ended up with a bad batch. Fresh out of the can it has a very sharp chemical smell, which took me by surprise. However, this quickly dissipates and turns into what I would describe as the smell of wet straw/ hay. Presumably this is some solvent or conserving agent that evaporates, so it’s not critical. You just have to be prepared. The same happens with the cleaning foam mentioned earlier, BTW.

Summary

After a couple of these product tests a clearer image is forming and I must say on a cherry-picking basis it would definitely include some Menalind/ MoliCare Skin products. For my skin type they work well and as someone being easily annoyed by “bad” smells I could think of worse than that almond scent. That said, of course not everything would necessarily be worth your penny. Like with their diapers, Hartmann stuff tends to be ever so slightly more expensive than some other products and if you are happy with your cheap drugstore product, there may simply not be a good reason to use a different zinc cream, lotion or bathing substance.

I also find it odd that the most unique item in this series, the skin protector foam, is super-expensive and only comes in that tiny 100 ml can. This would be a perfect candidate for a larger package at a more reasonable price. In any case, it’s of course subject to personal preference and individual skincare needs. All that said, if you are not yet using any such products and can get them for a good price, which currently may be even more feasible with remnants of the old Menalind-branded versions being sold at discounts during this transitional phase, you cannot go wrong.

Thanks to Hartmann for providing the goods for this article.

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Inserts Test: Tena Comfort

After having had to let things slide a bit, I’m easing back into action and hope to return to a more regular pattern of posting articles, the occasional news and my random rants. For now I’m clearing up my backlog and therefore today I’m presenting you with a review that I have been pushing around for forever. This has of course also to do with the subject matter – shaped pads/ inserts – and there being limited opportunity for me to actually use and evaluate them. Regardless, let’s see how the Tena Comfort holds up.

Tena Comfort, Absorption Levels

For this article I made good use of all the sampler packs that had amassed over time and exploited my connections to Tena to complement the collection and fill in the missing pieces – literally. That’s why I was able to present you with a full deck of all five absorption levels and both flavors, so to speak.

Tena Comfort, Absorption Levels

As can be seen in the photo, all levels have the same larger size in common with the exception of the lowest level labeled as normal. The latter is the only one that features a notably smaller overall surface area, which of course makes perfect sense. With it being the thinnest, least absorbent version, anyway, it wouldn’t make too much sense to make it larger, the reason being that you probably need to change it relatively often either way.

Actual use proves this point easily. In my case this basically amounts to pretty much only one time of letting the waters run, but even then you have to be careful. If your bladder is too full, mayhem will ensue. As such, therefore this product is only advised for cases of mild urge incontinence as a stop-gap measure or those situations where you go *oops* when you laugh too hard.

Tena Comfort, Absorption Levels

The other levels follow the conventions of the Tena Slip in terms of color coding and absorption strength, with an additional extra level inserted between the plus and super. This new level is exclusive to the shaped inserts and doesn’t exist for the other products. Its actual absorbency leans more towards the higher values, so it is in effect more like super than plus.

Naturally, while in technical terms the theoretical overall absorption volume is almost identical or at least very close to the Slip versions for some products, the reality of it is that in all likelihood you will never go so far as to really exhaust every last bit of safety margin. I laid out some reasons for this in the Kolibri Compact article and they apply here as well with the most important still being that there simply is a higher risk of leakage to begin with.

Tena Comfort Original, Absorption Levels

This argument is even true if you use the foil-based versions, which have the Original moniker attached to it in addition. They are easily discernible by looking slightly more pristine white on photos and their dot pattern being made up of hollow rings. There are no differences beyond that, so whether you use the breathable flavor or the one with foil is entirely a matter of your personal preference. For me it’s the breathable version simply because the coarser outer surface makes it slide around a lot less in your undies, which is something you might want to consider.

Tena Comfort Original, Absorption Levels

Another thing to keep an eye on is once more the thickness. As I have often said in relation to flex/ belted products, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to go with the maximum absorption level here. They may wrinkle up a lot more and thus make it even more complicated to get a smooth, perfect fit. Did I mention that it also increases the risk of leakage? Those two things alone should be reason enough to approach this cautiously and in case of fit issues go with lighter versions instead of “bulking up”.

Tena Comfort Original, Absorption Levels

For me I suppose the sweet spot would be the extra and super, though one problem remains – how do you get those things put on elegantly in the first place? I still find this the most stressful part about the whole exercise. Those shaped pads can appear huge when they flap loosely in your hands and you have to wrangle them into position between your legs and on your bum.

In case of the Tena Comfort products this is helped somewhat by their center part having those extra blue threads that give the whole thing a specific tension, resulting almost automatically in a curved, conformal overall shape, plus relatively high side liners. In fact, freshly unpacked this region looks nearly perfectly round and to me in a funny way this looks like you could place a flower-pot in there. However, this offers an opportunity to facilitate your changing procedure. If you don’t wear out this intrinsic tension, holding the product in one hand in that exact same spot is perfectly possible and the front and back parts will automatically stand up. Makes a few things a lot easier.

Tena Comfort, Inside

The fit on the body is okay-ish, though I find it rather trying to get the product to fit like I actually want. I totally blame this on Tena‘s old problem of the absorbent pads being rather dense/ compressed and thus being a bit too smooth for their own good, i.e. they tend to slide on your bum a bit before settling into their final position. It helps to move around a bit after you’ve put it on, so the mechanics can work their own magic and everything slides into place.

Tena Comfort, Front

Coverage of the critical regions is good, though I honestly still can’t get over my distrust with these inserts in case of posterior accidents. Unless I have spent enough time in the bathroom and can be sure there isn’t unwanted bowel activity for the next two hours or so, it’s just not for me, even more so since all Tena products to me still feel short in the back and I always have this nagging suspicion that my butt crack may be exposed or conversely stuff might leak out on top if and when things go terribly wrong.

Tena Comfort, Side View

The final question is of course the usability of these shaped pads as boosters for your regular diaper. Here I’m gonna say “No!”. Aside from the size requirement with these large pads that I already mentioned in the Kolibri Compact article (to recap: likely you will need size L and up to achieve good wearing comfort and cover the pad suitably) here the hardness of the inner surface will work against you.

Even if you mangle it hard and have your kitty shred it all day with its claws, it’s not going to be an ideal situation. It’s quite possible that the fluids will more or less seep through the holes and cracks you made and soak whatever product you use as the outside wrapper instead of filling up the shaped pad first. This means that the inside could still be relatively dry while the exterior is already dripping.

Tena Comfort, Back

On a whole this is an okay product in all the good and bad ways this could imply. My instinct is to call it “typical Tena” in the sense that ever since they transitioned from their old product versions to the new ones something seems to have been lost in the process. In particular the hard surfaces of the absorbent pads make this a tough choice. Because of this I would settle on the extra and super versions where you can at least be reasonably sure to use their capacity. If you need something different from that you’ll be happier by looking elsewhere and using other products, strange as this may seem.

Perhaps it’s really time that Tena take a step back and reconsider. Their stuff was once considered acclaimed and coveted premium products, but lately this appears to be no longer the case, an impression I know some of you share…

Why “Space” is not “Space Cadet”

Ah, gotta love the ABDL/ special interest community… not! At least not when it comes to those petty battles over copyrighting everything and everyone. After Rearz tried to register the generic “ABDL” term a while ago and got massive flak for it, a new battle is already raging in the form of ABU vs. Tykables slugging it out over whether anyone other than ABU may use the word “Space” to label their adult diapers. The original thread over at Reddit was even instigated by the current owner/ CEO of ABU, Casey Strom, which already makes this some sort of dick move on his part. Of course the whole truth is a little more convoluted, but let me try to explain my position.

First, I think it’s a total overreaction. I’m not a legal expert, least of all for US copyright law, but the pertinent entry in the USPTO database only ever says that specifically the term “Space” was registered. Not any variations, not any derivatives. That means that only the verbatim use is covered and anyone should be able to produce variations including the word “Space” followed by “Rocket” or as in this case “Cadet”. There you have it.

Furthermore in the thread’s opening post they talk about being required to enforce their trademark. Yeah, but does it actually mean they have to take legal action? They could have agreed on a quiet settlement/ licensing agreement and nobody would have made anything of it. I mean, c’mon, it’s a small world, after all. Can’t we just get along with each other? It’s not that we’re talking about billion dollar businesses being at stake here nor anyone skimming revenue from the other.

I also had to giggle about ABU‘s “web guy” bemoaning his precious SEO optimizations being at risk. Dude, get real! It’s not like your incontinent granny would google “space diaper”. Most of those search requests will come from people in the know that can clearly differentiate between ABU and Tykables being two separate companies catering a specific demographic. That and of course people find my shoddy little blogs without much hoopla and me not going out of my way to obsess about SEO (because I technically can’t influence it, anyway), so why the fuss?

As someone who has worked in the media industry and is aware of the many traps associated with copyright I’m not trying to trivialize the whole thing, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a questionable or even shabby move by ABU‘s. Other than costing everyone a ton of money (one could even be cynical and argue it’s of the reasons why their products are so costly), this will probably not go anywhere. Personally I don’t think their claims have any real grounding and at the end of the day everyone loses. I just hope they come to their senses before this blows up in their faces.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the upcoming products from both companies such as the ABU PeekABU and of course TykablesWaddlers, Little Builders and Space Cadet.

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