A few weeks ago, I got my hands on the new Always Radiant series of pads at Walmart (they were only $2.97!!!). I haven’t had time to write much, but today I do, so I’m making a mini review. You may think, “Why a mini review? Is it in relation to the size of the pad?” … well no, it’s not, hah, but it’s mini because I’ve written an Always Infinity review here before and the pad itself has not changed considerably, therefore it’d be rather repetitive to write on things that haven’t changed… but rather, I’m going to concentrate on some of the stuff that has changed. I will of course have detailed pictures which may overlap with the previous review for your viewing pleasure. On the 3 insides of the box, they even included $5 worth of coupons for future purchase of Radiant-series products!
Always Infinity has always been a “premium line” of their Always series products. Unless you catch them on a really good deal, they’re pretty hard to match in price when it comes to the number per box versus the traditional bag of Always pads. They haven’t really made the Radiant series anymore “premium” than their original Infinity line so it hasn’t added any additional excitement to the pad…. unless you’re particularly picky with decorations of the pad and box. What I’m happy about is they didn’t do pull a “downsizing” trick like Stayfree did when they went from the normal Stayfree line to the Thermocontrol line. The original Infinity line had 12 overnight sized pads and luckily, the radiant line still continues to have 12.
Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the Infinity Overnight:
Sleep easy with the absorbency of a pad like no other. Always Infinity is made with an incredibly absorbent material called Infinicel, which can hold 10x its weight. Which means it’s absorbent enough for your heavy nights and so thin, you might even forget you’re wearing a pad. Its revolutionary new wings are designed for secure protection and less mess on the sides. The microdots help channel fluid deep into the pad and away from you, helping you feel dry. And the form-fitting channels and soft cover sheet provide comfort and great leakage protection. Rest assured, this pad’s got you covered.
When I first heard the sudden announcement of the Radiant line, menstrual community members as well as myself were really trying to figure out what changes they have/will make to the pad. It seems like there were very few answers and when we did get an “official” answer, it was very lackluster as the changes were all non-performance related changes. For instance, making a prettier box or wrapper doesn’t make the pad any better. The only thing that made it ‘better’ (and not for everyone) was that they have added a light scent to the pad.
Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the new Radiant Infinity Overnight:
Longer than our Radiant Regular pads, NEW – Radiant Overnight Pads help keep your period invisible even while you sleep. Our unique technology allows Radiant Pads to conform to each individual and unique shape and with the premium protection and performance you expect from Always Infinity. With NEW fun,designer packaging and wrapper, Radiant is worthy of your unique stye. Radiant Pads also feature a new backsheet design for an extra feminine touch. And we’ve added a light, clean scent, to help you feel fresh.
What is a really awkward thing about the release of the Radiant series is that (SIGH ONCE AGAIN) the US seems to have more products available than Canada. I’m actually not sure who’s “fault” this is, whether it is Health Canada that prevents them from releasing certain products for sale or whether P&G decides not to make a particular product available here in Canada. In the US, there are 3 Radiant pad absorbency available in-line with the original Infinity series, Regular, Heavy, and Overnight. In Canada, for some reason they only offer the Regular and Overnight absorbency. What kind of crap is this? What now, the Canadian population for some reason only floats between either having a light flow or a super heavy flow?
Though I do lament about the fact there hasn’t been any major performance changes to the pad, one of the change is quite inviting (to the nose at least). I always doubt the “necessity” of scenting pads/tampons because of the chemicals used and being in such close contact with sensitive body parts. However, I loved opening the box and the pad to get a very nice orange-like smell. It’s quite pleasing and it does help reduce odour during/after use. Furthermore, when you store it with other things (pads, tampons or otherwise), it makes everything else smell good! I actually happen to store my stash in a musky old cabinet and it has greatly improved the smell of the cabinet 😆 I thought about in the future when I buy these for my girls, I’m going to have to take a “levy” and use it as air freshener!
It does not appear the pad dimensions or overall build has changed. The pad is still incredibly light, giving foreign pads like “Laurier F” a run for its money to build a pad that is even lighter than your typical ultra thins. Since the pad is not symmetrical and has a very unique design, it’s necessary to clearly differentiate the front and rear of the pad via the wings sticker. The box design does have a shiny, attractive look. Instead of having a “fact and myth” section like the Kotex packaging does, Always has a “Let Your Style Shine” section which has recommendations on using crafts to make a fashion statement.
The back of the box has a new layout with an image of a pair of cute panties and the pad itself. Listed are also the “selling features” of the pad:
+ Made differently so it protects differently.
+ Absorbs 4x more than you may need.
+ Soft, seamless and flexible design to move with you
+ Light, clean scent so you feel fresh
Though I really do like the new scent they added and the pretty design of the box, it’s not enough to “win me over” per se for making it sound like this great new product. So far I haven’t quite seen whether they’re completely transitioning away from the original Infinity line, so we’ll find out in time. I still see both stocked on the shelf, but that may be short-lived if they’re actually phasing it out. Lucky for people who buy it, you’re not being short-changed by any reductions in the equivalent packages by downsizing the number of units per box. The “Radiant” series also extends to the Tampax Pearl line, Pantiliner and Wipes.
I hope you enjoy the scent as much as I did 😛 Unlike when Infinity first unveiled, there’s no need to scramble to your nearest store to buy it, there’s nothing amazingly special unfortunately.
So now it sucks that I have to point out this brand in particular, but, it’s right-on-topic with what I want to speak about. Being an avid fan of periods, perhaps I may not be as bothered by the idea of menstrual fluid, the sight, smell or even presence of it – but others may be, whether male or female. I can understand the fear that some girls may be self-conscious about their own smell or might even feel disgusted about their own smell that they would consider using scented products. This doesn’t just have to do with scented tampons or pads, but there is also quite a market out there of women who feel that they need to “feel fresh” by using things like vaginal wipes or sprays. My question is, “is it really necessary?”
Yes, our body does not emanate the most beautiful smells. Even those who use fragrance soaps and perfume – let’s face it, WE do not naturally smell good, we are only masking our own natural body smell. Suffice to say, it doesn’t mean we should discard hygiene and let ourselves smell like crap, but our body, especially our sensitive areas like our pubic region don’t need to smell like flower petals. Furthermore, we all know that these scents are just chemicals, so why on earth would we even consider putting chemicals near our private areas? If you don’t wash your face regularly with acid, then you probably wouldn’t want to stuff a scented tampon in your vagina. Sure, the chemicals in those aren’t as harsh as acid, but the bottom line is… that they’re still chemicals.
For many women who still continue to use conventional feminine hygiene products, disposable pads and tampons – they’re already subjecting themselves to many foreign materials and using scented products is just like adding salt to a wound. I’ve managed to persuade most of my girls who uses scented products to stay away from them or for ones who are self-conscious to only use scented products when they feel that their period smell may be exposed easily. We all like to smell good, I’m not sure how many people on this world enjoy smelling bad if they had a choice, but scented feminine hygiene products aren’t the way to go. Honestly, even a pad or tampon that has been worn to the maximum and leaking, menstrual fluid smell would still be minimal. As a female, ask yourself, how many people would even be close to your vagina? Unless you work in the sex industry or as a stripper, would there be that many people close enough to your vagina where they’d be able to smell you? It’d be perhaps, your partner or at least someone whom you are comfortable enough to be so intimately close to – so is covering up the smell that important?
Let’s consider scented tampons for a moment. A tampon goes inside the vagina and stays there until it’s withdrawn and then thrown away. Please feel free to justify the reasoning of why a scented tampon is necessary because once you pull it out, it goes right into the garbage or down the toilet. Would the smell of menstrual flow for the 2 seconds prior to disposal be so bad where it’d be necessary to have a scented product? Also, I’ve seen my fair share of scented products and really, even the most scented product isn’t enough to completely mask the smell of the menstrual fluid. Don’t believe me? If you have the guts, try it yourself. Scented pads are pretty bad because the pad is already rubbing against your pubic region the whole day and with tampons, it’s sitting inside your body for up to 8 hours a day, times the number of tampons you use per day. We may enjoy the idea of our outer regions smelling good and thus, we use heavily scented soaps or feminine wipes, but why does the inside of the vagina need to smell good? Douching has been a long-standing practice, especially for some cultures or backgrounds – but did you know that douching should be something that’s done only on the recommendation of a doctor? Douching can be bad for the vagina because it may upset the delicate pH balance of the vagina.
As I mentioned, I don’t know of too many of my girls who use scented products so for those who do or have used them, for what reason do you prefer scented products? I know some products don’t come with a choice, for instance, Stayfree pads used to have both scented and unscented versions – but not anymore as the all come slightly scented. I can understand if you’ve used a certain product for so long where you don’t feel persuaded to change products, but for those who are using a product such as Playtex tampons where they do have scented and unscented products – why would you opt to use the scented, especially knowing that it truly is unnecessary (or unless you have reasons to deem it necessary)? This is not meant to entice an argument or to say that those who uses scented products as “wrong” – but rather, let us discuss the pros and cons and weigh them as to whether using scented products is a sound idea.
For the women who use liners on a daily basis to stay fresh, then perhaps I can under that manufactures want to add scent to it to encourage the idea that a good smell is the way you stay fresh. You can’t stay fresh just by relying on a scented pantiliner, but also with proper hygiene and changing of underwear on a regular or daily basis. I understand that some women get discharge regularly or have to deal with overactive vaginal lubrication, which sometimes doesn’t have the most pleasent smell or causes that “damp” feeling against your vagina, but yet, isn’t that the point of underwear? Underwear was meant to provide us with a buffer between our bodily fluids and the rest of the world. I looked up the “purpose of underwear” and one important point that came up is that underwear is to “support and protect your genital“. With that said, a bit of gunk on your underwear isn’t going to cause major issues unless you have a very heavy discharge or soaking issue, then, I can see the necessity of wearing a pantiliner regularly.
The vagina, just like any part of our body requires “breathing space” and using a pantiliner every day prevents that. Pantiliners, as part of a pre-menstrual and post-menstrual application is reasonable, but every day is almost excessive. Beyond the consideration of having your vagina stuffed up by products, also consider wearing underwear that’s more air permeable. Wearing breathable articles of clothing may make you think that just exposes your “smell” more, but by improving the OVERALL HEALTH of your pubic area, you are helping it, not hindering it.
Remember the reasons why you chose scented products in the first place, review it and see if it still really makes sense to stick with them! If you want to smell good, consider all your other healthier options.