Primer Or Dehydrator First: Which One is Better?
When it comes to applying gel or acrylic nails, one of the most common questions people ask is whether to use a primer or a dehydrator first. The answer to this question depends on factors such as your nail type, the product you are using, and your preference. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between primer and dehydrator, which one you should apply first, and answer some frequently asked questions.
What is a Primer?
A primer is a product used to prepare the nail plate for application of gel or acrylic nails. Its purpose is to promote adhesion between the nail and the product you’re using. Primer creates a rough surface on the nail plate, which allows the nail product to adhere to it more effectively. This is particularly important for those with oily or damaged nails, or those who have difficulty with lifting.
There are two types of nail primers: acid-based and acid-free. Acid-based primers contain methacrylic acid, which burns the surface of the nail plate to create tiny abrasions that make it easier for the product to stick. On the other hand, acid-free primers don’t contain acid, so they don’t cause any burning sensation. However, they may not be as effective as acid-based primers.
What is a Dehydrator?
A dehydrator, also called a nail prep or nail cleanser, is a product used to remove any moisture or oils from the nail plate that might compromise product adherence. Unlike primer, which creates a rough surface on the nail, a dehydrator works by drying out the surface of the nail plate. This makes it easier for the product to bond to the nail plate.
Dehydrators are typically used in three situations. Firstly, they are used in place of a primer for those with dry or sensitive nails, as the harshness of an acid-based primer might be too strong. Secondly, they are used with a primer for those with oily nails, as they help to remove any excess oils that may cause the primer to slide off the nail. Finally, dehydrators are used to prep the nail plate before applying nail art or other decorative elements, as these require a clean, dry surface to stick to.
Which One Comes First?
Now that we know the difference between primer and dehydrator, the million-dollar question arises: which one should you apply first? The answer depends on your nail type and the product you’re using. Here are a few guidelines:
For those with oily nails, using a dehydrator before the primer is recommended. This helps to remove any excess oils that may interfere with the primer’s adhesion. However, if you’re using an acid-free primer, you can skip the dehydrator altogether.
For those with dry or sensitive nails, using a dehydrator may be too harsh. In this case, you should opt for an acid-free primer, which does not contain any acid that might irritate your nails.
If you’re using an acid-based primer, it should always be applied first. This is because it burns the surface of the nail plate to create small abrasions that help the nail product adhere. If you apply the dehydrator first, the primer won’t be able to create these abrasions as effectively.
1) Can I use a dehydrator instead of a primer?
Yes, you can use a dehydrator instead of a primer if you have dry or sensitive nails. However, if you have oily or damaged nails, you should use both a dehydrator and a primer.
2) Should I use an acid-based or acid-free primer?
This depends on your preference and nail type. Acid-based primers are more effective at creating adhesion, but they may be too harsh for some people. Acid-free primers are gentler, but they may not be as effective as acid-based primers.
3) Can I use a dehydrator without using any nail product?
Yes, a dehydrator can be used to prep the nail plate before applying nail polish, nail art, or other decorative elements. It helps to remove any oils or moisture that may interfere with these products’ adherence.
In summary, both primer and dehydrator are essential products in the process of applying gel or acrylic nails. While their purpose is slightly different, they both help to create a strong bond between the nail product and the nail plate. Which one you should apply first depends on your nail type and the product you’re using. Remember to follow the guidelines above to ensure a smooth and long-lasting nail application.