Wearing a face mask has become the new normal – but while it's an incredibly important tool in the fight against coronavirus, it has led to a spike in skin problems.
As a result of irritation caused by excess heat, pressure and skin rubbing against the fabric of the mask, many have been reporting acne and pimple flare-ups along with redness and irritation.
Ordinarily it is known as "acne mechanica" but in 2020 dermatologists have coined a new term for it – "maskne".
It has sent Australian consumers on the hunt for products and treatments that can help ease the issue with recent data revealing skincare sales have increased by more than 600 per cent.
Queensland-based beauty brand Rawkanvas is among those who have seen demand for skincare items soar, netting $33,000 overnight yesterday with the launch of its Clarifying Red Wine Mask.
"We launched last night at 6pm and sold a product every 20 seconds totalling $15k in just 30 minutes," the brand's co-founder Simona Valev told news.com.au.
"Since then in the last 12 hours, we have totalled $33k across NZ and AUS customer base – it was definitely unexpected."
Simona, who created the vegan-friendly and all-natural skincare brand with Shannon Lacey in 2018, said the clay mask helps to draw out congestion, refine pores and overall gives your complexion a boost.
Interestingly, it is made with pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes, which "commands next-level skin detoxification and polishing". It also gives the product a unique mulled wine scent.
While the face mask wasn't created with coronavirus side effects in mind, Simona said during trials clients had mentioned it helped with their maskne.
"Since Covid-19 and the increase of wearing masks we have noticed so many customers reaching out and asking us what they should be using due to their skin concerns," she said.
The $54 item – which joins the ranks with Rawkanvas' bestseller, its Eternal Collagen Serum – is also a microdermabrasion product which on initial contact is very warm and tingly.
"This sensation is a direct result of the ingredients going to work to open pores, clarify for a deeper clean, smooth texture and tone skin," Simona said.
She adds that anyone using it may experience redness for a short time after as the process causes blood vessels to dilate and boosts blood circulation.
"This opens pores for a deeper clean and allows other active ingredients to be absorbed faster," she explained.
Maskne was first reported in the US where several states have made it mandatory to cover your mouth and nose in public – similar to the conditions in Melbourne where masks are now compulsory when out in public.
Emily Doig from Micro Glow, a Melbourne-based natural skincare brand, explained the Covid-induced skin condition "happens because the mask is trapping dirt, dead skin cells and oil in the pores".
"It can also cause skin conditions like miliaria [heat rash] and rosacea to flare up," she said, adding the mask rubbing on your face made it was the "perfect storm of grossness".