After I’ve taken things a bit slower over the end-of-year holidays like presumably most of you, not always voluntarily due to some unforeseen “bad days”, it’s time to kick off the new year and continue with one of our series. This time we’re gonna have a look at the branded skincare products from Attends. They aren’t as numerous as the ones from Seni, so this article should make for a bit of lighter reading. As always full disclosure: All products for this article were provided by Attends and my thanks to them for that, but of course I’ll still apply my usual critical eye, so this should still be as objective as it possibly can.
While the reduced number of products is going to make some things easier to explain and judge, it also makes things more difficult in that the corridor for actual use becomes more narrow and more specialized. You will see what I mean by that later on.
The branding is overall pretty modern, aesthetically pleasing and in a sense “neutral”, which keeps my designer tastebuds at peace. It also features a distinct color coding scheme with bright, intense colors used on large areas, which should help to avoid confusion coupled with the products offering a limited selection in the first place. It’s almost impossible to confuse items in a manner of speaking. It may look a bit pushy in your bathroom, though, even if it eliminates one of my complaints about Seni‘s color coding and all too toned down coloring.
With the exception of the barrier spray the products come in reasonably large tubes and dispensers or an acceptable number of pieces, respectively. This, too, sets it apart from the already mentioned competitor, though of course it’s a subjective point. Depending on your routine you’re always going to need more of one product, but not as much of another.
Dry/ Waterless Cleaning
In this department things are very straightforward as it doesn’t throw anything exotic at you and pretty much everything is as expected – wet wipes, disposable washing gloves and some matching foam and cleansing emulsion. It would seem you can’t do anything wrong with this, but actually it appears you can. Let me explain.
Variations in mixture are of course only natural from vendor to vendor. Some may prefer a different consistency and texture, others a different smell. This is the case here. The foam and washing lotion are a lot more water-y than their counterparts from Seni. It’s pretty much a non-issue for the emulsion, but the foam in this case really suffers in its usefulness.
It uses a standard perpendicularly aiming spray head, which generally makes it easier to apply the foam directly, but things begin to fall apart when you can’t do that. If you need to spray it on your hand first and then want to apply it to the regions that need cleaning, it dissolves way too quickly to do so in a satisfying manner. This is also further complicated by the foam not adhering well to your skin due to the lack of some oily substance. In turn it feels like you are moving foam flakes around like when you’re having a bubble bath and you may end up using unnecessarily much of the product.
If that wasn’t enough, and this point really set me on alert, the foam has a very intense citrus smell. It contains Limonene, the aromatic extract of lemon oil, which is known to be a strong natural cleansing agent, but also known to be one of those substances that can cause skin irritations and allergies. Most dermatologists advise to reduce immediate skin contact as much as possible when e.g. encountering it in detergents and cleaning products, so to me it is at least somewhat questionable why it is used here, even if I’m regularly using citrus-scented cleaning substances in my flat. So in case of doubt you might want to cautiously test this before delving in fully.
In the long run perhaps the critical substances should be eliminated entirely, which would also lead to a more consistent olfactory experience. Strangely enough, the washing lotion has an entirely different smell that is more in line with the usual “somewhat floral and fresh, but I can’t give an exact match” odeurs so often employed by cosmetics products.
The disposable washing gloves come in packages of fifty and, bummer for me, only as a version sans inner foil lining. This makes it more difficult to use them if you have really made a dirty mess in the posterior regions. Additional rubber gloves would be essential in this scenario. On a sidenote, the marketing blurb on the package states that the oval opening makes it easier to slide in your hand and what do you know? It actually does. Sometimes it’s the little things and the simple ideas.
On to the wet wipes. Yet again these totally fall outside established patterns and expected standards. For a product aimed at adult incontinence care they turn out to be awfully small, quite literally sized like baby wipes. They are not impossible to make do with, but most of the time you are going to need two or three of them to really wipe down your intimate regions. This is even more true after longer periods of wearing diapers, where more residue is on the skin. This is to say they are a bit impractical if you really want to be thorough, especially if you have relatively large hands.
Also, guess what – yes, they once again have a different scent that I sometimes perceive as a weird mix of camomile and green grass smells, but on some days I also find it annoyingly sharp and stingy, almost like a disinfecting agent with lots of isopropyl alcohol in it. It’s most definitely not the best scent for my nose.
In this department the Attends portfolio is rather lightweight and one could even argue that it’s underrepresented, given that their entire range doesn’t have complimentary water-based cleaning products to begin with. So it entirely falls onto the body lotion and cream to make up for any degreasing effects of your shower gel or soap.
The body milk, similar to the cleansing lotion, leans more towards the water-y side of things. Since I already have somewhat greasy skin that’s actually a good thing, since it means relatively fast absorption instead of having to rub it in forever. It’s also beneficial for quickly getting to put on your fresh diaper since you don’t have to wait too long for the moisture to dry off, either. If you have relatively dry skin on the other hand, this may not be the best product for you, though. It may not offer enough long-term protection and require additional products to be used, at least for the use case that is relevant here. For your sensitive areas some extra cream with a higher amount of lipids is advised.
That by all means could indeed be their very on care cream, since it leaves a thin film on your skin. In that regard it’s quite similar to the Seni body balm (the one with the yellow color coding) from our previous article. In fact I find the Attends product slightly more pleasant since it doesn’t have this sticky effect like if you had applied honey or sugar water. Because it is not so thick, it wears off a bit quicker, though. Both products have a smell that’s very similar to the cleansing lotion, so at least in that regard it’s a bit consistent.
The third product, the hydro gel, is not really a care product, but more of an auxiliary medical product. These types of products are often used in hospitals and care homes to get the blood pumping for bed-bound people, often before sleepy time in the evening so they stay warm in their beds as they doze off. Depending on your sensitivities the intense smell from the essential oils may be totally annoying or enjoyable. It most definitely gets to you when you are in a hospital room with four other elderly men that just had their rub, trust me! It doesn’t have much relevance for incontinence care, but used in small amounts can give you a lovely peppermint chewing gum smell – if that’s something you or your partner are into. ;-)
The two barrier products are actually more like one, with the difference being their thickness and consistency. The Forte version simply contains a bit more zinc oxide and beeswax to make it flow less.
I actually like the idea of a spray, since it eliminates that boring process of intense hand washing afterwards. Additionally it ensures that you apply a relatively thin and even coat. The downside is that regardless of which of the two you use, they are still very liquid which means that it takes a while before they settle in and dry off so you can put on your diaper. Another complication is that the thicker variant tends to sputter, leaving large blotches of product at times, so you may still end up getting your hands dirty, after all, when you need to spread the stuff out with your fingers. I feel that this could be avoided with a pressurized spray can/ pump-action spray since it would allow for higher pressure and using different nozzles that may be more effective and not as prone to clogging up and sputtering.
The Attends skincare products are quite a mixed bag, mostly for the fact that they don’t provide a consistent experience. Truth be told, to me it feels like arbitrarily selected OEM products that were licensed to carry their logo. Therefore a good start to improve upon things would be actually settling on a unified scent. That would also quite possibly eliminate the need for some ingredients that need to be viewed critically. The products themselves in my view are mostly relevant for people who have relatively intact skin with a minimum lipid barrier present. Personally I can’t see them working on rather dry skin, at least not without a lot of extra hoopla. There’s definitely potential here to open up a second product line or at least adding some more products that would cater for this different demographic.