Good old-fashioned Vaseline, the thick petroleum jelly substance, is making a comeback thanks to TikTok and a South Korean skincare craze called slugging.

Trending on the app with more than 100 million viewers watching clips on slugging, the practice involves going to bed at night with your face slathered in Vaseline.

It’s supposed to trap in moisture and prevent dry skin. Magically, when you wake up and remove the Vaseline according to the clips, your face will look radiant.

Vaseline trending on TikTok
Slugging – using Vaseline as as skin treatment is trending on TikTok.

US chemist Robert Cheseborough discovered petroleum jelly, which he marketed as Vaseline back in the mid 1800s.

He was intrigued to find that oilfield hands working at deposits in Pennsylvania used a black, gooey substance that got on the sucker rods to draw oil to the surface as an emollient.

The workers claimed it helped heal burns, scrapes and other skin conditions. Cheseborough studied the substance, worked out a way to purify it, got a patent, marketed it as Vaseline and the rest is history.

We’re thinking Cheseborough would be chuffed to see Vaseline making a comeback as a beauty product on social media.

ASX comeback

Speaking of comebacks, to markets where the ASX is looking a lot different today than it was a week ago.  At midday local stocks were strongly in the green, having risen 1.20% to 7,089 points following the lead of US stocks, which rallied overnight.

All three US benchmarks rose – the S&P 500 by 0.69%, Dow Jones by 0.78%, and Nasdaq by 0.75%.

On currency markets, the Australian dollar is trading at ~US71 cents, while Bitcoin has made a comeback from recent lows and is up 16.5% to ~US$54k.

Doves bring peace

The ASX has got a bit of a boost after the RBA let the doves out to fly yesterday (well maybe only a few).  The RBA board used its first official meeting of the year to formally end its quantitative easing program, which it started in 2020 as a measure to ease economic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

QE involves the RBA purchasing assets such as federal and state government bonds, essentially pumping money back into the economy. It now holds a record $337 billion in government debt.

A jump in inflation has the market and economists jittery that the RBA may be forced to lift interest rates above its record low of 0.1%.

Inflation figures released last week showed headline inflation was 3.5% in the year to December 31, while underlying inflation – the RBA’s preferred measure – was 2.6%.

In comments this morning, RBA governor Phil Lowe said the central bank is looking on track to achieve its wage growth and inflation targets “for the first time in years”.

But he reiterated that it’s too early to tell whether inflation will remain sustainably within the RBA’s 2-3% target band.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for February 2 [intraday]:

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Among stocks with news, Avecho Biotech (ASX:AVE) saw itself on the winners list after announcing it had entered into a licensing and supply deal with US-based Team SAAS LLC. The agreement involves Team SAAS to commercialise a recreational cannabis distillate containing Avecho’s TPM product for use in the manufacture of edible cannabis products in the US.

Shree Minerals (ASX:SHH) has announced exploration studies have highlighted strong prospectivity, including for the popular lithium, at its Dundas Project in Western Australia.

The Dundas tenements are considered to be located ideally within a major regional structural corridor containing world-class deposits of lithium along with gold.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for February 2 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: