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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.