If your favorite nail polish isn’t working the way that it used to and is starting to clump or thicken, it’s likely time to buy a thinner for it. Nail polish can get lumpy and overly thick over time, even if you shake it each time you use it. Fortunately, the right nail polish thinner works wonders with these problems and, in many cases, can make your polish work as if it’s brand-new.
What Is Nail Polish Thinner?
Contrary to what many people believe, nail polish remover and thinner are two different products made out of different materials and chemicals. Nail polish removers are organic solvents made to remove the nail polish entirely. They come in acetone-based and acetone-free options and they are also dehydrators so they can make the skin very dry.
On the other hand, polish thinners are chemical solvents made to maintain and restore the nail polish to its original condition. All a remover does is remove the nail polish whereas a polish thinner can add certain ingredients that have evaporated from the polish over time. As you can see, there’s a big difference between a nail polish remover and a thinner.
Why Use a Polish Thinner?
Some people will use a nail polish remover to thin out their nail polish but this is never recommended because it can actually make the polish less effective. While this can help your nails dry faster, its only because the paint is thinner. And thinner paint may compromise the integrity of the polish making it easier to peel, chip, or come off.
Indeed, it is always better for your nails if you use the right product and even better if you use the same brand and quality regardless of what you’re doing to your nails.
So why use a nail polish thinner? Basically, to bring your favorite nail polish back to life. Just a few drops can make nail polish the original consistency it once was. When nail polish gets old, it can get clumpy and dry. It can be difficult to get good and equal coverage when your polish is lumpy, too thick, or just old.
When added to your polish bottle, the thinner will mix evenly with your polish and create a smoother, consistent product; back to its original state. It will help to eliminate the sticky and stringy polish we despise to see! So if you are a true nail polish hoarder (like we are), then having a nail polish thinner on hand is something you won’t want to be without.
Our Pick For Top Nail Polish Thinners
Theses 11 polish thinners are the top picks in our books with the #1 choice being OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner for its constant quality. And if you are looking for a more natural solution, check out our #2 choice, Ella Mila that is gentler on your nails. Great options to choose from with these different solutions. If you’d like to review some of the best polish thinners on the market today, below are a few of them.
#1. OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner
Our #1 pick of best nail polish thinner is from the well known brand OPI as it always gives a consistent and high quality outcome. OPI is one of the best nail polish brands on the market, in part because they specialize in nail-care products and nothing else.
Their thinner is so effective that all you need is two to three drops added to your favorite nail polish to get a consistency that is the same as the polish was when it was new.
It comes in a two-ounce bottle and sells for $10, and it will last you for a very long time.
#2. Ella Mila Nail Lacquer Thinner Drops
Our #2 pick is from ella and mila and we love it because its more natural and a safer choice for many hands. This nail polish thinner is cruelty-free and made without ingredients such as toluene, camphor, TPHP, xylene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), to name a few. It sells for roughly $11.50 for a 0.45-ounce bottle, but it is extremely effective and gentle on your nails as well.
Just add several drops of the thinner to your nail polish and watch how quickly it does its job. This is one polish thinner that you won’t regret buying.
#3. Gelos Polish Thinner for Gel Nail Polish
Our #3 pick is for Gel Nail Polish- so its really our #1 pick for the gels. Just the same as regular nail polish, gel polishes get too thick as well and you cannot use a standard polish thinner to thin them out. Instead, you have to use a thinner made just for gel polish and that’s where this product comes in handy.
It comes with its own dropper for a super-easy way to use it and it works with all types of soak-off and curable gel polishes on the market. It also gives you specific directions so that your gel polish comes out perfectly when you’re done.
#4. Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner
The runner up goes to Beauty Secrets as its very close to the quality of OPI. This nail polish thinner is super easy to use and is great for those on a budget because it only costs $13 for a four-ounce bottle.
Even better, you only need a few drops placed into your favorite nail polish to make it work right. It will make the consistency of the polish smoother and more even than it was before. In fact, the product is so good that it is even used by professional nail techs.
#5. Zoya Renew Polish Rejuvenator
Our runner for more natural thinners goes to Zoya- another favorite brand of ours. Available for roughly $11 for a 0.5-ounce bottle, this thinner not only thins out nail polish but takes good care of your nails so that even brittle or thin nails can be rejuvenated with regular use.
It can make old polish look new again in no time and it is made without DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene. In addition, it is made so well and is so safe that even pregnant women can use it without worrying about anything going wrong.
How To Use Nail Polish Thinner And Keep Your Polish Longer
Additional Polish Thinners We Used
While there are a number of products and thinners, etc on the market, we have tried a ton and only a handful live up to our expectations. Below are the runners up that we would still recommend to our friends and family.
Before you paint your nails, you will always want to check the consistency of your polish on a test area. Nail polish can get thick and lumpy very quickly, especially if you are not careful with how you store your items. Thinners will save you hundreds in the long run, so its worth a try.
#6. Orly Nail Polish Thinner
With an exclusive built-in dropper and a price of roughly $9 for a two-ounce bottle, this thinner is great for all types of polishes and can literally bring them back to life in no time. It comes in a plastic bottle that won’t break and works with only one to two drops each time. It is such a safe and effective thinner that you can even use it to clean a variety of nail brushes, which makes it a very versatile nail product indeed.
#7. Nail Polish Thinner by Super Nail
Don’t let the generic sounding name take you back- this stuff is the bomb! At just under $7.50 for a four-ounce bottle, this thinner is just what you need if you have old or clumpy nail polish that you need to rejuvenate so it can work better on your nails.
It always makes your nail polish smoother with no lumps or clogs, keeping it at the perfect consistency so that you can get a clean, consistent look each time you use it.
#8. Seche Restore Thinner
This amazing polish thinner comes with its own dropper so that adding just a few drops to your nail polish is a piece of cake. You get a two-ounce bottle for just under $10 and it does a great job of making sure that your nail polishes are neither too thick nor too thin.
Regardless of why your nail polishes aren’t working right, including a change in temperature or humidity, you can easily take care of the problem with this polish thinner.
#9. NailTek Nail Polish Thinner
This polish thinner is made for professionals, which is why it costs around $10 for a bottle that’s only half an ounce. The first time you try it, though, you’ll understand why it’s priced this way.
Not only does it do a great job of thinning out your nail polish but it can actually improve the condition of your nails over time. It takes care of dry, thin, or brittle nails so they can heal and become harder with regular use.
#10. Mavala Switzerland Thinner for Nail Polish
This polish thinner is so efficient that you can use it even on polishes that are super hard or thick. Even very old nail polishes that you haven’t used in a while can thin out quite a bit with this thinner.
It takes just a few drops to make it work great and although it is a bit expensive at $10 for a 0.3-ounce bottle, you’ll understand why it costs this much after you use it. It is sold both online and at various high-class retail nail shops. If you are a nail bitter, Mavala makes an amazing polish to help you stop chewing on your pretty nails.
#11. Born Pretty Stamping Polish Thinner
This thinner comes in a one-ounce bottle that sells for roughly $2 at online stores such as Ali Express and you simply add two drops to your nail polish to make it work. It automatically makes your polish thin and smooth, and the polish is also a lot easier to work with after you apply the thinner.
Best of all, it works great whether you’re an individual who loves polishing your nails or a professional nail tech working in a salon.
So now that you have our recommendations for thinners to make your polish just like new, what are your favorites? Have you tried these or used others that you found gave you beautiful outcomes as well?
Have you been able to salvage your favorite polishes that you thought were dead and gone? Its such a great feeling there when you can get a bit more life out of your favorite nail color!