The face mask mandate has seen some beard-owners sacrifice their beloved bushy facial hair in order to comply with rules comfortably.
But beards don't have to be another thing lost to COVID-19, with Mollymook's Lauren Martin designing her own pattern to create beard-friendly face masks.
And they've been a hit - with requests pouring in from men with beards, and their wives too.
"I get so many wives contacting me saying their husbands get creases in their beards and that they're complaining about it all the time," she laughed.
"I also get a lot of funny messages. Wives send me pictures of their husbands in their beard masks who look very pleased."
The masks are adjustable, made to fit any beard.
"Guys are very proud of their beards, so I made them adjustable to fit all sizes depending on whether they were big or small," said Lauren.
The mother of three started the face mask side business as a way to supplement her income when her shifts at a local school were cut when NSW was in lockdown last year.
Lauren works as a student learning support officer at Ulladulla High School but comes from a 20-year graphic design background and had her own sewing business for eight years.
As masks are required to be back on our faces this year, Lauren took to the sewing machine again, this time providing an option for those with beards.
"It was a friends husband who asked if I make beard masks," she said.
"I'd been considering it, but knowing there were people out there asking for them made me think I should actually make them."
She said she wanted to provide an environmenally friendly option that also complied with safety requirements.
Lauren's masks are both tripled stitched and layered, with the most absorbent layer of fabric is the one that is closest to the wearer's face.
"There's a super absorbent layer closest to the mouth, then there are two layers of cotton fabric," she explained.
"And the purpose of wearing a mask isn't to keep COVID out, it's to protect others against you. If you cough or sneeze, it's being captured in the mask so you're not spreading it."
Lauren has made 1500 masks in 2020 and has made around the same this year.
In regional NSW, masks are required to be worn:
- When using public transport
- When you are travelling in a car with a person you do not live with
- In non-residential indoor areas
- For some situations in outdoor areas
- In airports and on commercial domestic flights
To contact Lauren for masks, visit: https://www.facebook.com/laurenmartinhandmade/
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.