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Looking to up your gel or falsies game with a nail dehydrator and primer but unsure where to start?

Well, good news, girly, you’re at the right place!

While nail dehydrates, remove any natural oils and moisture from the bare nail to prepare it for gel polish. A nail primer uses special chemicals to treat your nails, allowing for your gel polish or acrylics to adhere better to your nail plate.

It can be quite a challenge for a beginner as the application and procedure can be confusing. Plus, with so many different brands to choose from, it can be quite a challenge.

Don’t let that put you off though, I’ve got you covered.

To make life a hell of a lot easier, I have spent 12 hours researching  27 products to devise a guide of the top 10  nail dehydrators and primers and how to use them, so you can purchase and use complete confidence and up your gel manicure game to the next level.

Here’s a cool tip: A nail dehydrator removes all the oils to increase the adhesion of the gel base coat, while the nail primer acts as a bonding agent, adhering the gel or acrylic to the natural nail plate. By implementing these into your gel manicure routine will massively up manicures longevity.

Now, let’s take a look at my top picks.

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Top Nail Dehydrator and Primer of 2021

1.

Gelish pH Bond and Bond non-acid Primers

Coming in hot and sealing number one spot has to go to Gelish; they are one of the most famous gel polishes on the market to buy!

But their dehydrator and primers are also something to get excited about! Gelish offers a dehydrator called pH Bond and a primer called Pro bond.

Gelish Dehydrators are simple yet effective; the Pro-Bond and pH bond works with a range of different nail extensions and overlay materials such as acrylics, UV gels, gel nail polishes, and even dip powders.

But that’s not all:

As for the Gelish Pro Bond Non-Acid Primer, it works as a brilliant adhesive for your nail to the gel, acrylic, or dip powder. It can be used with a range of different gels, not just Gelish.

The non-acid primer is also completely universal; you use it with different gel polish brands, not just Gelish. I love this feature as it adds a sense of versatility to the brand.

They’re also super easy to use: apply a thin layer of the dehydrator over your nails, wait 30 seconds for the coat to evaporate, and then apply the primer, and you’re ready to go with the rest of your prep!

Adding these two bits to your kit is a very affordable, efficient way to add longevity to your gel manicure while also allowing you to prep your nails like a pro.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Universal with all gel, acrylic, and nail polish brands
  • Will improve the longevity of the manicure
Cons
  • None so far

Latest deal: Gelish pH Bond and Pro Bond Non-Acid Primers

2.

Mia Secret Nail Prep

If you’re looking for a hassle-free nail primer and dehydrator thats easy to use, then Mia Secret is up to the bill.

Now this duo set contains both a dehydrator called Nail Prep and a primer called Xtrabond. They are professional nail products that are loved by nail techs in salons, but they’ll be your best friend for at-home manicures too!

These nail dehydrators work really well for people with oily nails or those that have problems with lifting. They will make a two-week manicure last you up to three weeks! Pretty cool, right?

Plus, the Xtrabond gets bonus points for a no-burn acid-free treatment. The Nail Prep dehydrates the natural nail to remove natural oils while the Xtrabond primes and preps the nail, which adheres better in the manicure.

Now:

Mia Secret leaves your nails with long-lasting salon-quality nails at an affordable price in the comfort of your own home!

But there’s more: the products in Mia’s Secret’s duo set work well with other brands of gel, acrylics, and regular nail polishes, which is always such a bonus when it comes to dehydrator and primer products.

For the price, quality, and ease of application Mia Secret ticks all the boxes!

Pros
  • Lasts up to 21 days
  • Goes on like a polish and wears like a gel
  • Changes based on hand temperatures
  • Works with different base coats and top coats
Cons
  • Thick formula

Latest deal: Mia Secret Nail Prep

3.

Morovan Professional Nail Prep Dehydrator and Nail Acid-Free Primer

Looking for one of the best nail dehydrators and primers for acrylic nails? Well, Morovan is definitely up to the bill with their strong adhesive foundation that’s ready for any artificial manicure.

But wait, Morovan uses a natural nail dehydrator to get rid of oil and dry up the whole cuticle in a quick and easy step. The primer is also completely acid-free, and the adhesion to your nails isn’t corrosive. 

Applying this nail prep by Morovan is not only good for your nails, but it has to be the best foundation for acrylic, dip powder, and gel polish nails. It has double protection against lifting, giving you a manicure that will last up to 30 days.

You heard me a whole month– talk about a long-lasting manicure! 

Now the Morovan nail prep Dehydrator Bond primer works brilliantly to reduce nail oil to create a strong foundation; the Nail Bond Primer creates a perfect adhesive for your nail application.

But here’s the best bit: Morovan is compatible with all gel, acrylic powder as well as nail art. Many nail professionals across the globe love it. 

With this excellent natural formula giving your manicure longevity of up to 30 days, as well as not being harmful to your natural nail plate, Morovan is an absolute winner! 

Pros
  • 30 days of wear
  • Natural dehydrator and acid-free primer
  • Universal with all brands
  • Brilliant adhesive for acrylics, gel and dip powder nails
Cons
  • The brush is a little bit narrow

Latest deal: Morovan Professional Nail Dehydrator & Nail Primer

4.

Young Nails Protein Nail Primer

This is the leading nail bond primer in non-acidic adhesions; their acid-free formula is brilliantly formulated like Morovan. The non-corrosive primer uses property polymers that onto the keratin structure for an extended manicure. 

Young Nails ProteinBond Primer creates a double-sided, extra sticky surface for both the nail and either gel, polish, or acrylic can anchor down on.

This primer is the real deal. After doing my nails for years, I have found that this is one of the only formulas that won’t lift my nails, no matter how much prep I do.

It’s super simple to use too!

All you need to do is prep the nails for the initial application of acrylic or false nails; use your file and cleanser to gently remove the shine, oil, or previous polish for maximum adhesion.

Then apply 2 coats of the protein bond to each nail for hard gel or acrylic. For gel polish, you will only need a small amount of protein bond primer on the very edge of each nail. You can even use 1-2 coats of regular nail polish to prolong the manicure’s life.

This non-acid primer is an absolute gem for acrylic, gel, and even regular nail polish manicures. It completely changed my manicure game!

Pros
  • A non-acid primer that uses bonding to the keratin
  • It will prevent lifting and prolong the life of the manicure overall
  • It can be used on gel, acrylic, and even with regular nail polish
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • None

Latest deal: Young Nails Protein Nail Primer

5.

Modelones Professional Natural Nail Dehydrator & Bond Primer

If you’re looking for another option with excellently strong adhesion, then you need to take a look at Modelones! Using this set will create an unmatched foundation to use as your acrylic and gel nail primer. 

The adhesion from this set is superb! Modelones use super high-quality formulas that prevent lifting and provide excellent adhesion between your natural nail and either your acrylic, gel, or regular nail polish. 

While the Bond Dehydrator reduces the nail oil on the nail, the Gel primer uses an acid-free base for gel application ease. It is also compatible with all gel, acrylic powder, regular nail polish brands, and even nail art.

Now:

Modelones Nail Prep kit uses excellently formulated formulas that significantly affect the longevity of your manicure. It removes the grease and balances out the nail’s pH, which allows it to adhere better to your falsies.

It also prevents the creation of air bubbles, so it adheres better to even the most stubborn of nail plates. Modelones are so confident in their product’s effectiveness that they offer a 30-day refund if you don’t love it.

This will definitely improve your longevity game– don’t just take it from me; check out the 17 ‘000 glowing reviews!  

Pros
  • Acid-free formula
  • Universal and can be used with all brands
  • Prevents the creation of air bubbles to improve adhesion
  • Super affordable pricepoint 
Cons
  • None

Latest deal: Modelones Nail Dehydrator & Bond Primer

6.

Karlash Nail Dehydrator And Nail Primer

If you’re looking for maximum adhesion and a no-lift primer for your artificial nail application, then Karlash is the one you need. This duo-set creates a brilliant foundation for your nails. 

Karlash Nail Prep balances out the pH on your nail, reduces the nail oil, and overall creates a strong adhesive foundation for your manicure. It helps false nails adhere to the natural nail bed surface easily. 

I love this product because of the compatibility with all gel nails, acrylic powder, liquid systems, artificial nail art, and even your regular nail polish. 

But that’s not all. 

You can use them both at home and professionally; plus, by the primer being non-acidic, it will protect your pretty natural nails without being corrosive.

Now not all acid-free primers are compatible with all acrylic nails and extensions, so this one ticks all the boxes as you can use it with any! It even works great with gel polish. 

I love this formula; it is developed by nail techs and loved by many. 

Pros
  • Compatible with different brands
  • Affordable 
  • Acid-free nail primer
  • Balances out the pH on your nails to improve adhesion
Cons
  • Quite strong formula being acid-free

Latest deal: Karlash Nail Dehydrator And Nail Primer

7.

Mefa Nail Dehydrator And Nail Primer

Now, if you’re looking for a professional and healthy nail set, then let me introduce you to Mefa; it not only reduces nail oil but also creates a strong foundation for your manicure. 

Mefa provides a strong adhesion that can be used with any professional artificial nail application; it provides your nail plate with a strong foundation for gel and acrylic nails. Plus, it gets bonus points for the primer being acid-free. 

Now:

The dehydrator gets rid of all the oil and dried-up nail polish, and the primer works to give double protection against lifting, working as excellent adhesion to both the nail plate and gel for up to 30 days of wear!

This formula is also widely compatible with all gel nail, acrylic powder brands and is ideal for artificial nail art. It works well with all the popular brands on the market. 

This is a super affordable acid-free primer and dehydrator kit that works wonders! 

Pros
  • Acid-free formula 
  • Lasts up to 30 days
  • Widely compatible with a range of brands
  • Super affordable 
Cons
  • May only be suitable for beginners

Latest deal: Mefa Nail Dehydrator And Nail Primer

8.

Makartt Nail Dehydrator and Nail Primer

For all my nail art lovers out there, this Nail Dyhdrator and Primer by Markartt is the answer to all your prayers. This kit allows you to do easy, clean, beautiful, durable, and long-lasting nail art design in easy steps. 

While the nail dehydrator works to remove and clean off all nail dust, natural oil, fat, and bacteria on the nail plate to improve bonding; the nail primer strengthens the bond between the natural nail and nail gel. 

The nail primer also protects your nails and manicure from any dirt, air, and water seeping in between the gap of your natural nail and gel nails and hence prevents bacterial growth and also prevents your gels from lifting, breaking, or peeling off. 

The application is like a dream!

All you need to do is remove and push back the cuticle, shape your nails, file and buff the nail plate, clean off all the dust, apply a thin layer of nail dehydrator, and then a layer of the nail primer. Easy as pie!

But it doesn’t just stop there, Markartt not only works brilliantly with nail art but it can also be used with a range of gel polishes too, you won’t be stuck for choice anymore. 

This is my go-to for nail art and gel manicures. 

Pros
  • Easy application
  • Prevents lifting, peeling, breaking, and even bacterial growth 
  • Ideal for nail art
  • Gel polish lasts up to 4 weeks
Cons
  • Mixed views about the smell 

Latest deal: Makartt Nail Dehydrator and Nail Primer 

Best Nail Dehydrator & Primers Buyer's Guide

Nail dehydrators and primers work as a perfect pair for applying false acrylic nails and gels. They extend the life of your manicure massively while protecting your nail bed.

They work together to remove all nail oils and dirt and provide a robust adhesive foundation for your gel polish. However, the purpose of each can often be confused, so I’m here to break it down.

So what is a nail dehydrator?

This is a degreasing liquid that gently dehydrates the nail surface, removing any nail oil and other bits of dirt from your nail plate. This makes it easier for the gel polish or acrylic extensions to adhere to the nail.

A nail dehydrator removes all the natural oils and moisture from the nail to prepare it to apply a gel, acrylic, nail overlays, and extensions.

To break it down, a nail dehydrator helps to make a manicure last longer.

What is a nail primer? 

Nail primers then work to treat your nails’ surface to make your acrylic or gel polish adhere better to the nail plates. Nail primers act as a bonding agent to help gel base coats, polish, nail overlays, or acrylics stick to your nail plate.

The primer also has protective qualities that seal the tiny pores on your nail plate, blocking fungus, bacteria, water, or air from reaching your natural nails.

They also prevent your nails from lifting, peeling, or breaking.

They come in acid and acid-free formulas, but I would recommend going for the acid-free formulas instead as they are less corrosive and more gentle on your natural nail.

There are three different types of nail primers:

Non-acid primers:

Non-acid primers contain only a bit of acid, but it’s not methacrylic acid meaning the primer is much more gentle than acid-based primers.

It would help if you still avoided these non-acid primers coming in contact with skin.

Acid-based primers:

Acid-based primers are more common in older nail primers; it was the original primer used in the nail industry. An acid primer is often much stronger and harsher on the skin; it contains methacrylic acid, which can irritate the skin around the nails.

Only use an acid-based primer you have nails with hyperhidrosis or other problems and should only use a thin layer, being extra careful around the edges.

Acid-based primers work excellently with acrylic nails and really prevents lifting, but it is not ideal for gel manicures. Overall I would opt for a primer that is free of acid– it’s not worth it.

Acid-free primers: 

Unlike acid-based primers, acid-free primers are free of acid and have become more common in recent years, and it doesn’t contain any acid. It is much more gentle and softer than an acid primer and can be used on any nail plate.

They work similarly to double-sided tape; they adhere to the nail while anchoring in the gel polish or acrylic dip powder to prevent any lifting.

Nail techs love it, and you will see it most commonly in gel nail extensions or gel manicures. 

How to apply a nail dehydrator:

A nail dehydrator often comes in a small bottle with a brush in the bottle cap like all regular nail polishes. It comes in a clear liquid and is applied with a thin single coat over the nails.

This may make your nails appear white and rough after use, which is a natural dehydration effect. If it has evaporated to make your nails look white, then you will only need one coat.

You can use a second coat if it doesn’t affect the first plate; there is no need to panic; it won’t harm your nail plate. You can also wipe any excess dehydrator off the brush by wiping on the tip of the lid before use.

You won’t need to dehydrate the extensions as they do not produce natural oils; use them on your natural nails. Additionally, it won’t require curing. It will evaporate on its own.

Make sure you wait for it to evaporate before you go in with the primer.

When do you use a nail dehydrator? 

Once you’ve prepped your nail plate, you should use your nail dehydrator but make sure you use it before the primer. 

You should have filed your nails to the desired shape, buffed the shine off the nail and roughened them a bit, and cleaned off any dust from the last two steps using a nail cleanser or lint-free wipe before you go in with the nail dehydrator. 

How to apply a nail primer:

Using a nail primer is fairly easy; all you need to do is apply one layer to your bare natural nail plate, avoiding the area near the cuticles. You can either a thin layer cover the entire nail or at the tip of your nail.

Applying the nail primer to the free edge is the most recommended method as it is the area most prone to chipping and lifting. It is important to use a thin layer of nail primer as too much may actually cause the nail to lift.

Once you’ve applied one thin layer, you should allow around a minute for it to air dry (don’t use a UV or LED lamp for the primer)

When do you use a nail primer? 

You can use a nail primer after you’ve filed, buffed, and cleaned your nails and the nail dehydrator has evaporated. You should also apply the primer before your base coat. 

You don’t need to use a primer with regular nail polish only gel, acrylic, and dip powder manicures, but it may make a regular nail polish manicure last a few days longer.  

Frequently asked Questions

How do you store a nail dehydrator and primer?

The best way to store your dehydrator is to make sure you tightly seal the bottle lid after use as it evaporates easily and keep it in a cool, dry place like a cupboard, away from heat. 

As for nail primers, you should also seal them tightly and keep them in a cool, dry place away from heat, sparks, or flames. 

Do I need to use a nail primer?

Although many manufacturers and beauty companies recommend using a nail primer for acrylic, dip, and gel nails, it isn’t always essential. 

Nail primers mainly work to make your manicure more durable and improve longevity. I would always recommend it, especially for gel and acrylic nails; for regular nail polish, it isn’t necessary. 

It also prevents your nails from peeling, lifting, or breaking by creating a stronger adhesive for your gel base coat, gel polish, or even acrylic to hold onto. It is also brilliant to use for nail art. 

Summary

In this guide today, we have focused on the importance, use, and guide to applying nail dehydrators and primers and looking at the very best nail dehydrator and primer brands. 

They work together to massively improve the durability and longevity of gel, acrylic, dip powder liquid systems, nail art, and even regular nail polish.

I have only selected acid-free or non-acid formulas as they are less corrosive and more gentle on your nail bed. I have also ensured that I have selected universal formulas with a range of gel polishes, acrylic brands, and more so you can use them with complete confidence.

Select any of the products I have chosen for you today, and the results will shock you; some will even make your manicure last up to 30 days! 

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Jess Rowley

Nail Technician Expert

ABOUT

Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.