What Can I Use Instead Of Nail Primer?

There are circumstances in which you need a nail primer but do not own one at hand. At that moment, are there any alternatives to it? Let’s find the answer here!

There are numerous recommendations for preparing your nails before applying gel; however, one product that is gaining popularity is the nail primer. When you use this item correctly, it has the potential to provide you with longer-lasting nail art.

However, it is likely that you need nail primer but do not have one available at that moment; you may ask yourself,

“What can I use instead of nail primer?” We are here to help you find the answer, so let’s look for this post.

The Purpose Of Using A Nail Primer

Nail primer is known as a manicure product that people use to apply to real, unpolished fingernails before the application of colored polish or other artificial enhancements. 

So what are the benefits of using a nail primer? If your nails are prone to chipping, peeling, or lifting, a nail primer could be the missing piece in your nail care routine. 

It will help increase adhesion between nail polish and nails by roughening and bonding them together, inevitably resulting in a more durable, longer-lasting finish.

Nail primer is used before you apply nail polish or artificial enhancements. 
Nail primer is used before you apply nail polish or artificial enhancements.

What Can I Use Instead Of Nail Primer?

Nail primer is a fantastic product for priming the nails before applying nail polish. 

However, you may find yourself in a variety of situations, such as needing to do your nails but running out of nail polish or pouring your nail primer in the middle of the process.

In these cases, you must immediately get something to be used in place of the nail primer.  Let’s take a look at some of the options available.


Acetone is frequently applied to get rid of nail polish and can be used as a primer. Once you use acetone for your nails, it will break down almost all oily sediments and evaporate to eliminate them.

Furthermore, acetone is a highly volatile liquid that vanishes rapidly at room temp. This rapid evaporation enables it to function as a dehydrator by forcing the hydration on your nails to fade away as well.

Importantly, before you apply your gel polish or acrylics, make sure the acetone has entirely evaporated. If not, your acrylics and gel polish will be weakened if there is any acetone left over.

Isopropyl alcohol

The isopropyl alcohol helps kill any dangerous bacteria on your nails’ surface, disinfecting them. In addition, it also helps disintegrate several of the oil sediments, making it easier for the acetone to clean them.

However, it would help if you used highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol because less concentrated may contain a lot of water and leave some hydration on your nails.

Acetone and isopropyl alcohol can be used as an alternative to nail primer. 
Acetone and isopropyl alcohol can be used as an alternative to nail primer.

Combining acetone and isopropyl alcohol together and using them correctly can help remove the majority of the moisture and oil from your nails, enabling your gel polish and acrylics to last longer without lifting.

Keep in mind that when purchasing acetone, get the “pure,” “100%,” or “100% pure” on the label. Besides, choose isopropyl alcohol with an intensive formulation (99.9%) that includes as little water as you can.

How To Use Acetone And Alcohol As A Nail Primer?

To use these two substances as nail primer, you should follow these steps:

  • To begin, apply an isopropyl alcohol coat to your nails 
  • Wait until the alcohol has faded away.
  • Then, wait until the acetone vanishes. Acetone contains an evaporating nature, so it will take you a lot of time to wait.
  • Next, you can start applying your goods once the acetone has thoroughly dried.

However, remember not to utilize cotton wipes to apply the acetone and alcohol since they may end up leaving residue on your nails.

Rather, use an old nail polish gently apply the polish. Also, make sure it is clean so that you can use acetone for this.

You can also mix the two components with the 1:1 ratio in an unused nail polish bottle. However, you should ensure that the bottle can withstand the acetone and you can tightly close it.

Which Acetone and Isopropyl Alcohol Should You Get?


The Eternal 100% Pure Acetone left a great impression on us. It is 100 percent pure acetone for a quick and painless manicure at home, helping remove any enamel type in a flash. 

Its formula removes even the harshest polishes rapidly and efficiently, leaving the nails prepared for the next manicure. Notably, this acetone can quickly get rid of nail glue, gel, glitter, nail polish, and artificial nails without dehydrating them. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

Also coming from the Eternal brand, the Eternal 99% Isopropyl Alcohol, which contains 99 percent pure isopropyl alcohol, aids in the cleaning of surfaces as well as the prevention of infection from minimal surface wounds such as cuts and bruises. As a result, it is effective at protecting your nails and washing your hands before applying nail polish.

To get the best results, wipe your nails with this product from cuticles to fingertips to eliminate excess oils. This aids in the polish’s adhesion to the nails.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nail Primer Harmful To Your Nails?

There are numerous advantages to using nail primer. However, there are several disadvantages.

Cause nails damage

To begin, distinct types of nail primers perform in different ways. For example, the acid primer may contain

methacrylic acid, which generates microscopic tears and gaps in your nail bed to enable acrylics or gel polishes to adhere effectively to your nails.

As we mentioned previously, it is perfectly safe when applied in small amounts and infrequently. Still, if used improperly and too regularly, it will adversely affect your real nails over time.

As a result, most experts advise you to use acid-free primers since they are commonly less damaging to your nails.

Hard to clean

Nail primer is practical for adhering acrylic and gel polish to your nails. However, it is so effective that it makes the cleaning process more challenging. Hence, you may have to use more acetone to remove it, further harming your nails.

So, if you intend to modify your nails frequently, like every week, we recommend that you avoid using a nail primer.

Unable to avoid staining

Unlike specific base coats, nail primer does nothing to keep your nails from being stained caused by the dyes in the nail polish.

Instead, because primers force the polish to stick more to your nails, it can potentially raise the chances of staining.

What Is The Distinction Between Nail Primer And Dehydrator?

The dehydrator is an acid-free product that helps prepare the nail in seconds, eliminating washing it after application.

It is utilized to the unpolished nails to disintegrate the oils on them, ensuring that they will adhere to what has been applied to them.

On the other hand, the primer is used as a first surface to the unpolished nail before you apply artificial enhancements or colored polish. 

Besides, nail primer forms chemical bonds between nails and other products, ensuring that they keep on for a more extended period.

Also, because primers generally contain dehydrating ingredients, you can use them without first using a dehydrator.

In case it is the first time you hear about the nail primer and want to know more about it, this video may be helpful:

Final Thoughts

So let’s review again. “What can I use instead of nail primer?” – the answer is acetone and isopropyl alcohol. Using these two, you can get the same results as using a nail primer and in a more cost-effective way.

If you find this topic interesting, do not hesitate to like, comment, and follow our guides for the best outcomes.


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