You should always use a base and a top coat when applying gel polishes. This is because Gel Polishes were made to be used in conjunction with both a base and a top coat.
A gel manicure is a system with different layers, and not just a single layer or product. Citation.
Now, of course, gel polishes can be applied directly onto your nails without using any other product. But without a top or base coat your gel polishes won’t be up to standard and wouldn’t last too long. Since they would be prone to lifting and peeling easily.
Benefits of a Gel Base Coat For Gel Polish
A Base Coat is essential when using gel polishes much more so than when you are working with regular nail polishes.
This is because gel polishes were designed to be used with a base coat. Regular nail polishes on the other hand were made to be able to stand alone.
Now, for regular nail polishes a top coat is more important, you can click here to read about a Base Coat Vs Top Coat for regular nail polishes.
1- Helps Your Gel Polish to Adhere Better to Your Nails
The main benefit that a base coat has is that it creates a great surface for your colored gel polish to bond with. This prevents your polish from lifting and peeling easily. Citation.
How a Gel Base Coat Works
Gel Base Coats tend to contain ingredients such as resins and primers that make your gel polish adhere amazingly well to your natural nail plates.
And they also create a super sticky surface for your colored gel polish to bond with. You see most gel base coats don’t cure completely instead they leave a slightly wet layer on the surface. This wet layer is purposely designed for your colored gel polish to anchor onto, so you don’t need to wipe it off.
So basically the base coat bonds firmly onto your nails and then the colored gel polish sticks onto the base coat. Citation.
You might be asking why didn’t they design the colored gel polishes to just adhere better to your natural nails?.
But you see if they tweaked the ingredients to make gel polishes bond stronger to your nails it would make the polish weaker. Since base coats tend to be more watery and more like glue. Whilst a good gel polish needs to be thick and stronger.
2- Makes Your Manicures Look More Even & Smoother
A Base Coat helps to smooth out any cracks and damages on your natural nail plates making your finished manicure look nice and even.
3- Prevents Your Nail Plates From Being Stained
Some dark colors from certain brands of gel polishes can potentially stain your nail plates. Dark red polish is one of the most prolific stainers.
But a base coat would act as a barrier and prevent the dyes from the colored gel polishes from reaching your nail plates directly, thus preventing them from being stained.
Now if you want to learn more about Gel Base Coats and the different types you can check out the video below.
Benefits of a Gel Top Coat For Gel Polish
1- Protects Your Polish
The main benefit of a top coat is that it protects your gel polish which allows your manicure to last for a longer time.
A top coat forms a very hard and durable layer over your polish which prevents them from getting damaged and stained easily.
It also acts to insulate your polish from excessive contact with water and other harsh chemicals that can cause your polish to peel and chip easily.
2- Adds a Glossy Sheen to Your Nails
A good gel top coat can also add a nice glossy sheen to your manicure making your polish look more sleek and professional.
Now if you dont want the glossy effect there are matte gel top coats that won’t add that sheen.
Recommended Base & Top Coat
I highly recommend Gelish Base and Top Coat, they would work effectively with most brands of gel polish.
Gelish Base and Top Coat are a premium brand so they are a bit pricey, but in my opinion, they are well worth paying a few extra dollars. Since they greatly extend the life of your manicure which would help to save you money in the long run.
Citation and References