Argan Oil vs Coconut vs Olive Oil

Maro2Bear

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Greetings

Every now and then owners of tortoises with dry skin or carapaces ask if they can apply anything special to help things along. More often then not, folks recommend the use of coconut oil, or olive oil, or some other type of commercial shell saver.

I just read a few healthcare-related articles, and each time the beneficial effects of argan oil surfaced. I’m now wondering if some pure, cold-pressed argan oil might also be a good choice for topical application to a tort’s carapace.

One of the articles of note - https://www.healthline.com/health/argan-oil-for-skin

Argan oil appears to offer many of the properties we are trying to positively impact.

Here’s the Overview

Overview
  • Argan oil is made from the kernels that grow on the argan trees native to Morocco. It’s most frequently sold as pure oil, which can be directly applied topically (directly to the skin) or ingested in order to provide several health benefits. It comes in supplement capsule form to be taken by mouth. It’s also commonly mixed into a number of cosmetic products like shampoos, soaps, and conditioners.
  • Argan oil has traditionally been used both topically and orally to improve the health of skin, hair, and nails. It contains a number of different beneficial properties and vitamins that form a powerful combination to boost skin health.
 
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EllieMay

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Well Mark, I’ll guess I’ll have to try that one too.. you know I’m a firm believer in moisturizing and I already use shell saver and virgin coconut oil.. might as well use argan oil too.. just got to decide which tort to switch....[emoji848]
 

Maro2Bear

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Well Mark, I’ll guess I’ll have to try that one too.. you know I’m a firm believer in moisturizing and I already use shell saver and virgin coconut oil.. might as well use argan oil too.. just got to decide which tort to switch....[emoji848]


Great! Argan oil is allegedly good for a few things - maybe helping tortoise shells is another beneficial use.
 

g4mobile

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Well Mark, I’ll guess I’ll have to try that one too.. you know I’m a firm believer in moisturizing and I already use shell saver and virgin coconut oil.. might as well use argan oil too.. just got to decide which tort to switch....[emoji848]
I know you have a lot of experience with these products. Do you think any of these shell conditioner products would affect UVB absorption?
 

jsheffield

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IMG_7022.jpg

I made a bunch of this stuff for my redfoot tortoise, Darwin.

I put it on once or twice a week, after a soak.

Jamie
 

EllieMay

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I know you have a lot of experience with these products. Do you think any of these shell conditioner products would affect UVB absorption?

I am definitely no expert!!! My experience is limited to 7-8 months of raising 2 hatchlings and 1 juvenile.. lots of TFO research and trial and error.. all I can actually say for sure is that I have seen no ill affects from moisturizing with any of these products and I use all three.. my juvenile tortoise has went from 4 to 8lbs in exactly 2 months.. my hatchlings are also thriving and both have beautiful shells. They do get outside a lot! Every day unless the temps drop too much. So far, they have never went longer than three days without real uvb exposure, even if it’s no more than 20 min.
 

EllieMay

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I just took these pictures.. From top to bottom-
Crusher - started with no moisturizer. Now has used all of them.
Pickles - used the shell saver from beginning
Toretto - started with none / now uses virgin coconut oil
I put the oil on them every day after their soak.
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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I’m sorry ! But I feel that torts breath through their shells and take in moisture. And putting oils may stop that .
And I have been raising torts for 18 years . I have leopards , Greeks , Russians , herrmans , Marginals , AZ desert torts, 3toe boxy and ornate boxys , and Egyptians!
But most important please if you think it helps your torts : you do what you feel is best and have a great day !
 

EllieMay

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I’m sorry ! But I feel that torts breath through their shells and take in moisture. And putting oils may stop that .
And I have been raising torts for 18 years . I have leopards , Greeks , Russians , herrmans , Marginals , AZ desert torts, 3toe boxy and ornate boxys , and Egyptians!
But most important please if you think it helps your torts : you do what you feel is best and have a great day !

Don’t be sorry!!! It’s people like you who’s opinions I value the most. Isn’t that what we are all here for?? To learn from one another?
 

KieranMcKeown

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KieranMcKeown

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I’m sorry ! But I feel that torts breath through their shells and take in moisture. And putting oils may stop that .
And I have been raising torts for 18 years . I have leopards , Greeks , Russians , herrmans , Marginals , AZ desert torts, 3toe boxy and ornate boxys , and Egyptians!
But most important please if you think it helps your torts : you do what you feel is best and have a great day !
Hey there! I am just wondering what your advice would be/ what you use on shells with carapaces or dryness?
 

g4mobile

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I’m sorry ! But I feel that torts breath through their shells and take in moisture. And putting oils may stop that .
And I have been raising torts for 18 years . I have leopards , Greeks , Russians , herrmans , Marginals , AZ desert torts, 3toe boxy and ornate boxys , and Egyptians!
But most important please if you think it helps your torts : you do what you feel is best and have a great day !
I’ve searched and searched for research on this topic. I have not been able to find anything scientific that states a tortoise absorbs oxygen through it’s shell. Only opinions. If you have any links, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you.
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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Don’t be sorry!!! It’s people like you who’s opinions I value the most. Isn’t that what we are all here for?? To learn from one another?

Thank you
But sometimes we get new people that just like to argue with every thing . But good luck . And thank you again!
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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I’ve searched and searched for research on this topic. I have not been able to find anything scientific that states a tortoise absorbs oxygen through it’s shell. Only opinions. If you have any links, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you.

I have no real proof. But let’s think this out for a minute. The TFO says torts should be kept in high humidity to keep the shell moist so the shell don’t get bumpy. And the tort needs fresh drinking water every day . So if the tort has fresh drinking water every day and the only way it takes in water is though the mouth why does it need high humidity if not for the construction of a great shell . Or can we just poor water over the outside of the shell ?
 

Tim Carlisle

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I have no real proof. But let’s think this out for a minute. The TFO says torts should be kept in high humidity to keep the shell moist so the shell don’t get bumpy. And the tort needs fresh drinking water every day . So if the tort has fresh drinking water every day and the only way it takes in water is though the mouth why does it need high humidity if not for the construction of a great shell . Or can we just poor water over the outside of the shell ?
I had those same thoughts and concerns. It is recommended to have high humidity and daily soaks during the younger years of development; most notably when growth patterns around the carapace scutes are most evident and are softest. Maintaining the softness of this new growth is thought to lessen and alleviate pyramiding. Use of "natural" moisturizers would theoretically better ensure more even growth of the scutes by maintaining the moisture levels. Anyway, that's how my feeble brain is processing it all.
 

Madkins007

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A few things to think about.

1. Reptile skin is VERY different from human skin. Most importantly, it is COMPLETELY WATERPROOF- they do not breath or drink or absorb water through their skin. You can verify this fact in any article that defines a reptile.

2. For humans, lotions and oils do not rehydrate the skin itself, but instead trap moisture in the tissues. The best way to lotion/oil yourself is after a good soaking or shower. (source: dermatologist discussion sites.)

3. Tortoise shells are keratin, the same material as your fingernail. The keratin can plump up when soaked, but that has little to do with health or hydration.

4. A dry-looking shell is pretty much a cosmetic issue. Feel free to use any lotion or oil that is safe for humans to make it look better temporarily.

5. DEHYDRATION is a real health problem. A healthy tortoise feels heavy for its size. There is actually a formula you can use to help determine if it is at risk but a lot of people seem to think the formula is confusing. Treating dehydration in tortoises depends on the kind of tortoise. Forest species need humidity. Grassland species seem to benefit from humid hides. Captive torts need free access to water (which is trickier than it might seem). Most torts can also extract water from their food, so a proper diet is really important! (For example, there is a thing called 'metabolic water' that torts and other animals can make from the protein in plants.)
 

Tim Carlisle

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A few things to think about.

1. Reptile skin is VERY different from human skin. Most importantly, it is COMPLETELY WATERPROOF- they do not breath or drink or absorb water through their skin. You can verify this fact in any article that defines a reptile.

2. For humans, lotions and oils do not rehydrate the skin itself, but instead trap moisture in the tissues. The best way to lotion/oil yourself is after a good soaking or shower. (source: dermatologist discussion sites.)

3. Tortoise shells are keratin, the same material as your fingernail. The keratin can plump up when soaked, but that has little to do with health or hydration.

4. A dry-looking shell is pretty much a cosmetic issue. Feel free to use any lotion or oil that is safe for humans to make it look better temporarily.

5. DEHYDRATION is a real health problem. A healthy tortoise feels heavy for its size. There is actually a formula you can use to help determine if it is at risk but a lot of people seem to think the formula is confusing. Treating dehydration in tortoises depends on the kind of tortoise. Forest species need humidity. Grassland species seem to benefit from humid hides. Captive torts need free access to water (which is trickier than it might seem). Most torts can also extract water from their food, so a proper diet is really important! (For example, there is a thing called 'metabolic water' that torts and other animals can make from the protein in plants.)
Is this the formula you're talking about?

tBMI= cWTcm/tWTgr (or SCLcm^3 x 0.191)[/b]
 

Tim Carlisle

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A few things to think about.

1. Reptile skin is VERY different from human skin. Most importantly, it is COMPLETELY WATERPROOF- they do not breath or drink or absorb water through their skin. You can verify this fact in any article that defines a reptile.

2. For humans, lotions and oils do not rehydrate the skin itself, but instead trap moisture in the tissues. The best way to lotion/oil yourself is after a good soaking or shower. (source: dermatologist discussion sites.)

3. Tortoise shells are keratin, the same material as your fingernail. The keratin can plump up when soaked, but that has little to do with health or hydration.

4. A dry-looking shell is pretty much a cosmetic issue. Feel free to use any lotion or oil that is safe for humans to make it look better temporarily.

5. DEHYDRATION is a real health problem. A healthy tortoise feels heavy for its size. There is actually a formula you can use to help determine if it is at risk but a lot of people seem to think the formula is confusing. Treating dehydration in tortoises depends on the kind of tortoise. Forest species need humidity. Grassland species seem to benefit from humid hides. Captive torts need free access to water (which is trickier than it might seem). Most torts can also extract water from their food, so a proper diet is really important! (For example, there is a thing called 'metabolic water' that torts and other animals can make from the protein in plants.)

My tBMI came out to 1.20:
(14.6^3*0.191)=594.417976
714/594.4=1.201174

-1.16 to 1.33: There is only about a 15% chance that this tortoise is healthy at this weight. It is probably at least somewhat obese and needs appropriate care.

Should I be putting him on a diet? Perhaps more exercise? Combination thereof? I assume from the table that his hydration is good, but a bit overweight. Am I reading that correctly?
 

Yvonne G

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Great! Argan oil is allegedly good for a few things - maybe helping tortoise shells is another beneficial use.
I recently discovered argan oil and use it on my hair, which has never felt more smooth and silky. I love it for this application, but have never used it on tortoises.
 
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