nail primer

Why do you need nail primer?

Do you have artificial nails in the hope that they will last a long time, but after just a week, chipped nails appear? Nail primer is invisible protection and a product that will help prolong the life of your manicure. How does it do this? What functions does it perform? How not to get confused in the names, types and buy what you really need? Let’s look into it.

What is a nail primer?

Primer (from English, “primer” means “primer”) – is a special agent to increase adhesion in preparing nails for artificial coating. It dries and degreases the nail plate, acts as a double-sided adhesive tape, both sides have an adhesive function, thus improving the bond between the nail and the artificial material.

The primer does not create a separate layer and is usually a liquid texture. It does not require a manicure lamp because it dries perfectly in the air within a minute. The main value of the primer is that thanks to it in the most vulnerable areas – the end and the edges of the nail plate – the coating does not splinter and holds for as long as possible.

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Types of nail primers, and how do they differ?

Today, on the shelves of manicure stores, you can find two main types: acid-free primers and acidic primers. Let’s understand what their fundamental differences are and for what purposes they are designed.

Acid-free nail primers

Acid-free primer leaves a sticky layer on the nail plate, through which the product ensures the reliable adhesion of materials. It contains components that temporarily change the pH of the natural nail and make it closer to the pH of the artificial coating (highly alkaline). After the application of acid-free primer on the nail plate remains a very sticky layer. Due to this, the artificial material as if “glued” to the nail plate and holds much better. 

This type of primer has no disinfecting effect and does not remove excess moisture, so in some cases it is better to use it in combination with other products – degreased, disinfect or, dehydrator. The degreased will remove dust, dirt particles, and natural deposits (such as grease) from the nail plate as a result of the plate’s natural moisture. A disinfection or (like Masada) will remove all possible germs, fungi and bacteria from the nail surface. And the dehydrator will remove excess moisture. Each product will perform its specific function, increasing the quality of your work and the duration of the coat.

Acid-free primer does not disturb the pH balance and does not penetrate into the deeper layers of the nail plate, so it is safe for the skin and nails. Please note, the primer is not applied to the entire nail plate, but only on its free edge. In addition, the primer should be applied with a thin layer, otherwise during the process of wearing there may be detachment. 

Acid nail primers

Acid primer is 70-100% meth acrylic acid. The acid etches the surface of the nail, lifts its keratin flakes and penetrates into the deeper layers. As a result, the artificial coating clings to the exposed nail scales and thus the adhesion of the materials becomes very reliable, and the wear of the coating is maximally prolonged even on the dampest and greasiest nails. Please note, this product is only used for extension, or for hyperhidrosis nails (very wet nail plate).

IMPORTANT: Met acrylic acid, which is part of this,   is a very aggressive substance that can cause burns, so work with this primer must be careful! Apply it in a thin layer, backing away from the lateral sinuses and cuticles.

  • If used incorrectly, acid primer can cause:
  • Burns, allergic reactions and dermatitis;
  • Thinning of the nail plate.

In addition, meth acrylic acid has a very caustic, unpleasant smell. The master working without a mask, from constant inhalation of its vapors can cause drowsiness, headaches, visual and hearing disorders, as well as exacerbation of chronic diseases. So be careful when working with acid primer and follow the rules of personal protection!

However, this type of primer has a huge advantage – it has bactericidal properties that block the appearance of microbes between the artificial coating and the nail plate. Acid primer is suitable for working on wet nails, and that is where the risk of various bacteria and microorganisms is very high.

And a few more facts about acid primer:

Some types of primers are suitable for working with either gel or acrylic. Before buying, read the label carefully so that you know what materials it’s intended for;

More is not better! Do not apply more than two coats of acid primer. Remember that the harmful components included in the primer are not washed out and do not evaporate from the surface of the nail;

If the client complains of burning of the nail or near the nail, be sure to rinse the area with water. Perhaps the client has sensitive skin, thinning nail plate and your inaction could provoke a burn;

When working with acid primer, use gloves, a mask, and goggles to avoid getting the product on the skin, and the vapors into the hypopharynx and eyes.

nail primer

How to properly apply the primer to the nails?

Step 1: Treating the cuticle and shaping the nails

Before applying the primer, we need to tidy our nails: trim the cuticle and give our nails a nice shape. At this stage, we will need:

  • orange wand; 
  • a pusher;
  • a cuticle remover;
  • little more than a pair of scissors, nippers or clippers to remove the cuticles;
  • a nail file for natural nails.

What to do?

Use a nail file to shape the free edge into the desired shape; 

Apply cuticle remover to the cuticle and lateral rollers;

Then put the hand in a soaking tub with warm water for 3-4 minutes. Then wipe your fingers and get to work on your manicure;

Pull back the cuticles with a pusher;

Remove cuticles with scissors (tweezers or wire cutters);

Go over the nail contour with a water-moistened orange wand and clean the terbium.

Step 2: Prepare the nail plate

Next, we begin to prepare the nail plate for the coating of gel polish. At this stage and we will need a primer! This step is very important, because it depends on how well they bond between the natural nail and the artificial coating. 

To make a competent preparation, you will need the following materials:

  • buff;
  • brush or brush to remove dust;
  • lint-free cloths;
  • 2-in-1 liquid: degreased and remover;
  • dehydrator (nail-prep);
  • primer.

What we do?

Treat the surface of the nail plate with buff to lift the nail plate scales and improve adhesion;

Remove dust with a special brush;

Apply a lint-free cloth and wipe the nails;

Those who have wet, oily nails, in order to improve the grip, apply a dehydrator to the entire surface of the nail and air dry it for a minute. Disinfectant can also be applied;

Then you need to apply a nail primer to the free edge of the nail. Depending on the purpose and condition of the nails, choose an acid or acid-free one. The free edge is one of the most vulnerable points, and thanks to the primer improves the adhesion between the nail plate and the artificial material, which contributes to a longer wearing of the coverage. The primer is also air-dried for one minute.

Step 3: Covering the nail plate with gel polish

Well, at the end, we move on to the coating of the nail plate.

We will need:

  • base coat;
  • color coating;
  • top coat (with or without a sticky layer);
  • lamp for polymerization. For more information on how to choose a lamp, read the article “How to choose a lamp for drying gel polish?”.

What are we doing?

Apply the base coat to the nail surface. Dry in a lamp. Do not remove the sticky layer;

Apply gel polish, if necessary, in 2 layers. Each layer is put in a darkroom to dry. Do not remove the tacky layer;

Apply top coat. Then dry it under the lamp;

If we use a top with a sticky layer, we moisten a lint-free cloth with a means for removing the sticky layer and wipe our nails with it.

And after that? Enjoy a beautiful, neat finish that holds perfectly without chipping or peeling.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and use nail industry advancements. They will make your job easier, improve quality and achieve perfect results!

What’s the difference between nail prep and primer?

Nail prep is a liquid that is applied to the nail before applying a nail polish. It helps the polish adhere better to the nail and prevents chipping.
Primer is a liquid that is applied to the nail before applying a nail polish. It helps the polish adhere better to the nail and prevents chipping.
Both serve an important function in ensuring that your manicure lasts as long as possible, but they are not interchangeable.

Is nail primer the same as base gel?

Nail primer and base gel are two different products. Primers are used to ensure that nail polish will adhere properly to the nails and last longer. Base gel is a liquid that is applied on the nails before applying nail polish. It provides a protective layer for the nails, preventing staining from nail polish, can act as a barrier for stains and can help with adhesion of nail polish.
Nail primers are not always necessary but they can be very useful if you have thin nails or if you use dark colors on your nails. Base gels are more important because they protect your natural nails from discoloration and other damage that might occur because of nail polishes.

Is base coat the same as primer?

Base coat is a clear, colorless nail polish that is applied to the nails before applying nail polish. It functions as a foundation for the nail polish and provides strength to the nails. Primer is a liquid or cream used before applying make-up. It smoothes out skin, reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines, and creates an even surface for make-up application.
Base coat is not primer because it does not smoothen out skin or reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines like primer does.