Review: Always Infinity
ADVANCE WARNING: POST CONTAINS TALK OF PERIODS. IN REAL TERMS.
So, I’m not a fan of “women’s” magazines (or home & lifestyle magazines as some shops put it), but I’m pretty sure that aside from an advertorial here and there, there’s very little mention of what products are out there to aid us women burdened with flowering ovaries, especially the one week in four where we shed our unwanted womb linings and end up leaving bits of clear plastic or those little squares of paper all over the bathroom floor. Given how much of our lives are spent doing this thing that we can’t really opt out of on a semi-permanent basis, you’d think that more time would be spent by the powers that be making sure that we’re covered from all bases – how to prepare, how to cope, what medication to take, which towels/tampons are best etc etc. But because this thing is ‘private’ and some think ‘disgusting’, we don’t talk about it. Not even a whisper in some circles. HEADS UP, GUYS: It’s as natural as sneezing! And people talking about sneezing and snot a hell of a lot more.
I’ve been blobbing all over the shop for about twenty years now, and you’d think that doing something for that long would make me an expert in timing, control and just generally making sure that what leaves my body never sees the light of day. Oh, my friend, you would be very wrong. Usually, during the day, I’m good. I’ve only been caught out by unpredicted train journeys where no toilet has been provided, or thought “Oh, just one more hour” when really I should have known better. When cycling to/from work, I’ve had a tiny bit of leakage to the sides, but nothing major. During the night, however, I’m a living nightmare. The main problem is capacity – I like a full eight hours, if not more, but I’m lucky if I get to six before that barrier breaks and I’m left with a wet patch of the worst kind. The second problem is width – the back end of the majority of towels just isn’t wide enough for side sleepers. Just give me pants like toddlers have at night – basically a nappy – and that should solve the problem. It’s worth pointing out here that I use towels. I did try tampons (as an adult) but fainted when it came to taking it out, so that experience didn’t go down so well. I’m also petrified of forgetting it’s there and all of the warnings about TSS really, really freak me out.
But I think I’ve found something that to date has not let me down. Always Infinity. The world’s most expensive option for period management. Now, I don’t know what Infinicel is (iResolve have tried to figure it out), but it’s magic. Because of the cost, I only use the Super and Night ones on my heaviest days and nights – the regular Always Ultra do the job quite nicely on the other days.
What makes them so good? Well, firstly, they are really thin. And I mean thin. There’s a layer of this Infinicel foam with no “zones” or “barriers” to speak of. It’s all one complete unit. I can feel when I’m wearing Always Ultra; they may be thin, but they get heavy and I’m always aware that they’re there. This thin layer doesn’t seem to get any heavier and there’s pretty much no expansion. A full towel feels no different to a fresh one. The capacity of these towels is also immense. You’ll know it’s full because you’ll see your period peeking through to the top sheet along the length (aside from sight, it’s really hard to tell when it’s full). When you take it off, you’ll be able to see how full it is all the way along the pad from the underside.
Another plus point is the top sheet. The original dry-weave top sheet has been scrapped for these – and not a moment too soon. Instead, this is like a very soft paper. Or a very thin, dry, soft baby wipe. It’s odd, but it works so very well. Because the foam is doing all of the work, the top sheet is merely a barrier to stop skin getting in to contact with it. I’m probably not alone in thinking that the top sheet on Ultra pads is a bit too plastic and it rustles just a little sometimes. Also, it gives me the sweatiest of bum-cracks. Yeah, that’s pleasant! A sweaty, bleedy combo is a terrible thing. Another thoroughly excellent point is the wings. Aaah yes, wings. I love a wing so much I rarely wear pads that don’t have them. But I find that Always over-compensate with the wings and make them too long (for me, anyway) and this can be uncomfortable after 5 days! They also chafe like nobody’s business. I cycle in to work, and if I’m not wearing Infinity, the inside of my thigh (just at the top front on the inside, as it bends round underneath – an awkward joint) is red and aggravated. With Infinity, I don’t get this. I don’t wear underwear generally when cycling because of potential chafing at the seams, but as these pads are seamless, I don’t get this problem during my period.
And what about nighttimes? Well, to date, I’ve not had one leak during the night whilst sleeping. HIGH FIVES ALL ROUND. The foam soaks everything up as such a rate that my period doesn’t have a chance to roll down the inside of my bumcrack and make its way out to the side of my bum, missing the pad entirely. FYI, there’s nothing quite like lying there semiconscious feeling blood trickle down and form a pool *just* that little bit too far to the left. Now I wake up, have a quick check and VOILA! not a spot to be seen. I made it! It’s like being a small child again and finding out that you managed to go a whole night without wetting the bed, except you’re an adult and you’ve finally mastered it twenty years later.
Now, I’ve read in reviews on the Boots website that these pads either work extremely well, or in some cases don’t work at all. I can’t figure out why this would be, just that people have periods at different rates of flow and of varying consistencies. As people tend not to go in to detail about these things, I can’t only recommend that you try them and see for yourself if they work for your particular type of period.
For me, I cant recommend them highly enough. But do be warned: they are really expensive. Shop around as there are usually offers on somewhere. A 3 for 2 or BOGOF brings the price down considerably. As yet, they don’t seem to have a Jumbo Pack (something they’ve implemented for the Ultra pads) but I’m keeping my eye out. As mentioned before, I save these for the one or two days/nights a month where my flow is as it heaviest. I’d suggest you do the same, then a pack lasts so much longer.