Lockdown has caused a spike in sex toy and skincare sales in Australia


Ever wondered what products spike during a pandemic?

We’ve all gone on a bit of an online shopping rampage of late, and alongside activewear and loungewear, beauty and sex toys seem to be the highest on our hit lists.

But what products are us Aussies loving the most? Is everyone else panic-buying face masks like me? And if so, which ones? Is now the optimum time to purchase a new vibrator?

Well, luckily for us, Adore Beauty and its beauty editor and Beauty IQ podcast host, Joanna Fleming, have provided some useful insight into our current shopping habits, as well as some of Joanna’s personal faves, because who doesn’t love a good product recco?

Skincare tools

IG stories near and far may have given this one away, but skincare tools are wildly popular of late, especially since professional facials are a no-go.

“The desire to create an in-clinic facial experience has driven up sales of tools and masks as we deal with the new phenomenon of ‘iso skin’,” says Joanna.

Sales in this sector have increased by 112 per cent on Adore, the highest jump of all the site’s categories. Its bestsellers are the Salt by Hendrix Rose Quartz Gua Sha, the Lonvitalite Dermal Roller and the Foreo Bear – the latter being a brand that Joanna simply can’t go past.

“I have so many tools from [Foreo], but my favourite at the moment is the UFO. It combines so many different concepts like LED, thermotherapy and cryotherapy in one masking device,” she says.

Sex toys

“Of course, isolation isn’t so favourable on those of us who aren’t in relationships, so I don’t think anyone in our business is surprised by the increase in sales across our sex category,” says Joanna.

And it’s been quite an increase indeed, with sales climbing 45 per cent. For those of you wondering, Vush Stimulation’s The Empress, LELO Beads and Unbound Palma’s Gold Vibrator Ring are standouts.

But toys aren’t the only products that Adore’s sex category boasts, it’s all about sexual wellness too. Organic contraceptive brand Jonny’s Overnighter 3-pack is Joanna’s fave. “This innovative brand has really changed the way we view contraception and [how we] dispose of these products.”

Home fragrance

The next category with the largest growth, at 105 per cent, is home fragrance. I can’t lie, I’ve had five different candles in my shopping cart since April. There’s something about spending more time at home that makes you realise it could really smell a lot better. And like Joanna says, there’s nothing like a warming household scent to really lift your mood.

“When I’m feeling sorry for myself, my favourite sheet mask, a scented candle and a bath can always cheer me up. I can’t quite pinpoint why this is the case, but I think it has something to do with feeling like you have your shit together when you can’t control what’s happening around you.” I feel that.

In case you’re wondering, Glasshouse’s Kyoto in Bloom, Lumira’s Cuban Tobacco and Cire Trudon’s Ernesto have been Adore’s hottest candles.


In the physical and chemical battle against ‘iso skin’, sales of exfoliators have spiked by 62.7 per cent. Adore customers’ top three are Cosmedix’s Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser, Murad’s Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser and the iconic Alpha-H Liquid Gold. But what are Joanna’s picks you ask?

“I’m a chemical and enzyme exfoliant kind of girl, so my go-to exfoliators at the moment are Asap’s Liquid Platinum and Aspect’s Fruit Enzyme Mask.”

Face masks

Just shy of exfoliators on Adore’s sales ladder at 61.2 per cent is our skin’s saving grace: face masks. From charcoal to clay to sheet, what can’t a face mask be or do? Especially when paired with a glass of vino in a hot bubble bath. Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask, Aspect’ Probiotic Mask and Erno Laszlo’s Detoxifying Hydrogel Mask have been the site’s most popular.

“My holy grails are Aspect’s Probiotic Mask and Aceology’s Green T Infusion Gel Mask,” says Joanna. “They’re great options for anyone dealing with inflammation, sensitivity and dryness.”


Serums and treatments are to skincare regimes what toppings are to sundaes. They’re about what you like and what you need. And just like desserts, it seems we’ve been buying whole lotta serums during iso too. The category has had a sales growth of 32.3 per cent on Adore with SkinCeuticals’ C E Ferulic Serum, Medik8’s Hydr8 B5 and Asap’s Radiance Serum taking buyers’ pick.

Hopefully, this beauty-sex-toy-sales rundown gave you some reassurance about your own cosmetic purchases, or maybe some new gadgets and sheet masks to add to your wish-list. It’s okay to indulge in some self-care, in whichever category you please. After all, there’s nothing quite like feeling like you have your shit together when really everything’s wildly out of control.


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