In this article, I will be comparing both Base Coats and Nail Primers to help you to more accurately understand when and how to properly use them.
Is a Base Coat the same as a Nail Primer?
Base Coats and Nail Primers are both used to make your manicures last longer. But both of them work differently and are used with different products.
Nail Primers are generally used to treat the surface of your nails to make your acrylic or nail polish adhere better to your nail plates.
Nail primers usually work by either:
1- Dehydrating your nails to remove moisture and oil on the surface of your nails allowing your acrylics or polish to adhere better.
2- Covering the surface of your nails with a thin coat of a super sticky layer, which acts like glue holding your acrylics or polish onto our nails.
3- Creating microscopic tears and holes on your nail plates allowing the acrylics and polishes to grip onto the nails better.
Whilst a Base Coat is a type of clear coat of polish applied to your nails to make your gel or regular nail polish last longer.
Base Coats are very similar to polishes except they contain plasticizers to make them more flexible and higher levels of cellulose to make them adhere better. Citation.
When Do You Use a Base Coat
Base Coats are usually used as the first coat of polish before applying your gel polish or regular nail polish.
When Do You Use a Nail Primer
Nail Primers are used to treat your nails before applying acrylics but they can be used when applying gel or regular polishes.
Though I don’t advocate using a nail primer when applying gel polish or regular polishes unless you are prone to peeling or chipping.
This is because nail primers are harsh chemicals that should only be used when they are truly necessary like when applying acrylics or when you are prone to peeling or chipping.
Advantages of Nail Primers
Nail Primers are much better at making your acrylics, gel polish or regular polish adhere to your nails when compared to just a plain base coat.
Nail primers can be used with most products such as acrylics, gel polishes, and regular polishes.
Advantages Of Base Coats
1- Does Help to Extend the Life Of Your Manicures
Base Coats can help to make your gel and regular polishes last longer; by providing a better foundation for them to adhere to.
And by making your polishes more flexible allowing them to bend rather than break.
2- Can Prevent Staining
Some brands of the base coats protect your natural nails from being stained by dyes in your polishes.
If you notice that your natural nails have a yellowish tinge, you should invest in a good base coat with stain preventing properties.
OPI Base Coat is pretty good and would protect your nails from being stained, you can click here to see the price on Amazon.
3- Promote Healthier Nails
Base Coats promote stronger and healthier natural nails they do so by forming a protective coating over them, shielding your nails from the harsher chemicals in your polish.
Some brands of the base coats even contain vitamins, nutrients, and even moisturizers to keep your natural nails in better condition.
Can You Use a Nail Primer & Base Coat Together
Using a nail primer in conjunction with a base coat will allow your gel polish or regular polishes to be extremely durable.
But I don’t advise using both unless your nails are prone to chipping and lifting.
Can You Use a Base Coat as a Primer for Acrylic Nails
Base Coats are meant to be used with gel polishes and regular polishes not for acrylics.
When applying acrylic nails it is advisable to use nail primers and nail dehydrators.
If you want to learn more about Nail Primers and Nail dehydrators you can click here to read my buyer’s guide on nail primers where I will explain the various types and when and how to use them.
But if you want a quick DIY Nail Primer you can click here to learn how to make one.
Citation and References Used