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The Best Nail Dehydrators and Primers

Carey Schaal
Written by Carey Schaal

Nail dehydrators are applied to your natural nails (after they’ve been cleaned and prepped) before you apply gel polish or acrylic extensions. Dehydration removes oils and moisture from the nail’s surface so the gel or acrylic can adhere better. Nail primers are bonding agents that enhance the adhesion between the natural nail and the gel or acrylic. Using a nail dehydrator and a nail primer will increase the longevity of your manicure and minimize the risk of lifting and tearing.

We reviewed the best nail dehydrators and primers, and the Morovan Nail Dehydrator and Primer is our favorite because it is universally compatible with all gel nail polishes & acrylic powders and the primer’s bonding strength.

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The Best Nail Dehydrator and Primer Buying Guide


Quality should be your top concern when shopping for a nail dehydrator. How long does the product make nails last? What are other people saying about the product? Does it work? Things like that. Online research, including reading reviews and product ratings, can provide valuable insights into a product's performance. 


It's important to pay attention to the ingredients in the product you’re buying. Look for dehydrators that have isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. These ingredients effectively remove oils and moisture from the nail bed, ensuring better adhesion of the primer and subsequent nail polish layers. Avoid products containing chemicals that may cause irritation or allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin. Before using a dehydrator and primer, it may be wise to do a patch test/skin test just to be sure.

Drying Time

Look for dehydrators and primers that dry quickly to save time during the manicure process. Fast-drying formulas can help ensure that you can move on to the next step of your manicure without waiting too long for the products to set.


Opt for dehydrators and primers known for their long-lasting effects. Products that help extend the wear of your manicure by improving adhesion and preventing lifting or chipping are worth investing in (trust me!).  

Comparing the Best Nail Dehydrators and Primers of 2024


Morovan Nail Dehydrator and Primer


  • Can help make nails stronger
  • Great for gel extensions and manicures
  • Works well with sensitive skin and nails


  • Scent can be overpowering

Morovan’s dehydrate and acid-free primer wins top spot because of its ease of use, making it an excellent choice for those looking to strengthen their nails. It includes a nail prep dehydrator and an acid-free gel primer that work together to create a foundation for gel nail applications. The dehydrator is effective at removing oils from the nail bed and creates a dry surface. The acid-free primer provides an extra layer of protection by creating an adhesive bond between the nail and the product.

The set works with all gel nail products, as well as acrylic powder and liquid systems. It's also compatible with any artificial nail art product. It comes in an elegant gift box, bringing convenience and style to its users in case they wish to give it to someone special or just to treat themselves!


Modelones Nail Dehydrator and Primer


  • Recommended by many nail techs
  • Versatile and long-lasting formula
  • Can remove nail shine and oils


  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

The Modelones gel nail polish primer is a unique, must-have item in any professional manicure kit. It helps to create a foundation that enhances the stickiness of the nail surface and gives it a long-lasting finish of up to 28 days. The two part set consists of a nail prep dehydrator and a nail primer. The nail prep dehydrator helps to clean the nail surface and bonds natural nails and manicure products together. The nail primer helps enhance adhesion for artificial nails.

This product combo can be used with all kinds of gel nails, acrylic powder, dip powder, extension gel, cuticle oil, and liquid systems available on the market. It also works great with all leading professional nail care brands. The acid-free formula used in the product is gentle on nails. 


Mia Secret Nail Dehydrator and Primer


  • Helps with longevity of nails
  • Great for oily nail beds
  • Doesn't have a strong odor


  • May cause polish discoloration

The Mia Secret Professional dehydrator is easy to use and provides excellent results. The nail prep dehydrates the natural nail to remove natural oils, leaving you with salon-quality nails that last. This nail care product can be used on all types of nails, including natural, acrylic and gels. The added XtraBond primer maintains the alkaline balance of the natural nail, ensuring the nails stay healthy and strong.

This formula is designed to quickly and efficiently dry the nail in preparation for painting, making it one of the most user-friendly nail prep solutions available on the market today. Furthermore, it can also be used to prepare the nails before applying artificial nails or nail extensions.


Makartt Nail Dehydrator and Primer


  • Great for gel polish adherence and cure
  • Extends base coat longevity
  • Easy and straightforward to use


  • Bottles may be smaller than expected

The Makartt nail dehydrator and primer set comes with both a nail dehydrator and a primer, which work together to prepare nails for a beautiful, durable nail art. The dehydrator works to remove any dust, natural oil, or bacteria from the nail plate. This allows the nail gel to bond more effectively to the nail surface. The primer then strengthens the adhesion between the natural nail and the gel product, preventing lifting, breaking, or peeling of beauty products.

Additionally, it creates a barrier to avoid any dirt, air, or water from seeping in. This set is easy to use and ideal for all types of nail art. To use it properly, simply remove the cuticles and shape your nails, followed by filing and buffing. Then apply the dehydrator in a thin layer. Lastly, apply a thin layer of primer to strengthen the adhesion of your natural nails and the beauty product. The products can be used with gel polish, builder gels, hard gels, and poly building nail gels.


Kanorine Nail Dehydrator and Primer


  • Very fast drying times
  • Great for gel extensions and manicures
  • Easy on sensitive nail beds


  • Strong smell

The Kanorine Nail Dehydrator and Primer duo set guarantees strong adhesion and safety from premature lifting, essential for a long-lasting manicure. The Dehydrator effectively evaporates and reduces natural hair oils, while the Gel Primer offers an acid-free base for gel application. Both products have a 100% natural formula that is acid-free, hypoallergenic, and non-burning!

The primer prevents air bubbles from forming, premature chipping of gel manicures, and lifting or tearing nail extensions from the nail bed.


People Also Ask

  • Q: What is a nail dehydrator?

    A:A nail dehydrator is a product used to remove moisture and dissolve oil from the nails and cuticles to prepare them for applying nail polish or other products. It can also be part of a manicure routine to prevent nails and cuticles from becoming dry and brittle.

  • Q: What is the difference between a nail dehydrator and a nail primer?

    A:A nail dehydrator removes moisture and oils from the nails and cuticles, while a nail primer helps to promote better adhesion between the base coat and color polish. Generally, a dehydrator helps prep the nails before applying polish, while a primer helps ensure that the polish stays on longer.

  • Q: What are the benefits of using a nail dehydrator?

    A:The benefits of using a nail dehydrator include longer-lasting manicures, improved adhesion between base coats and polishes, reduction in smudges, bubbles, streaks, and improved durability.

  • Q: What’s the best type of nail dehydrator to use?

    A:Generally, it’s best to opt for an alcoholic-based product that contains ethyl-alcohol or propylene glycol. These ingredients are known for their ability to evaporate quickly without leaving behind any residue.

  • Q: How do I use a nail dehydrator?

    A:Nail dehydrators should be used according to the instructions that come with each product. Typically, this involves wiping each nail with the product before applying any base coats or polishes. It is important to make sure that all excess oil and moisture has been removed so that the polish will adhere properly and last longer on your nails. After a dehydrator, you may wish to use a primer.

  • Q: How often can I use a nail dehydrator?

    A:It is best to use a nail dehydrator only when needed as stripping your nails of their natural oils constantly isn't healthy for them. Every 2-3 weeks or when you get a fresh manicure is best!

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Carey Schaal

By Carey Schaal

With a background in interior design and business and a passion for beauty, Carey combines her education and experience to reach a diverse readership. She enjoys curating content that helps consumers discover life-enriching products, whether essential serums or a variety of unique home accents. When she isn’t writing, she’s likely preparing a meal with her family or perfecting her skincare routine.


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