Best Nail Polish Thinners For Both Regular & Gel Polish

Best Nail Polish Thinners
Best Nail Polish Thinners

Nail Polishes have a tendency to gradually get thick. This is because the liquid in the polish will slowly evaporate, especially if you leave it open often.

Thankfully you can easily thin them out with Nail Thinners and make your polishes have the same consistency as when you bought them. So in this article, we are going to cover:

  • What are Nail Polish thinners
  • How they Work
  • How to Use Correctly
  • What you should look for in a good thinner
  • And the Best Brands to Use (at least the ones that I have used over the years and got the best results.

What are Nail Polish Thinners

Nail Polish Thinners are special chemicals that are added to nail polish to make them less thick and clumpy and more fluid and smooth to use.

They are also used to stretch out the amount of polish you can get from a bottle.

How Do Nail Thinners Work

Nail Polishes once they have been opened usually get thicker and clumpier over time. This is because they are made of volatile solvents that easily evaporate when exposed to the air causing the polish to lose some of its liquids and thus become thicker. Citation.

Nail Polish Thinners work by replacing the solvents that have evaporated from the nail polish allowing it to return to a better consistency.

They can do so because nail thinners are made of the same solvents found in nail polish.

How to Add Nail Thinners to Your Polish

  • Firstly add two drops of nail thinner to your polish
  • Next, close your polish and then gently roll the bottle in your palms
  • Finally, check your polish, if it’s not thin enough, repeat the same process until satisfied.

If your polish is extremely thick and clumpy, this usually happens if you have not used the polish in months, you will need to vigorously shake the polish up after you have added the nail thinner so as to get back a good consistency.

The key here is after you have shaken the polish up is to let it rest for 20-30 minutes to allow any air bubbles to dissipate before applying.

I even use a nail shaker to mix up my polishes, which works really fast and saves you a lot of time and energy, you can click to read about the electric shakers that I recommend.

What Should You Look For When Getting a Nail Thinner

1- Ensure that it works with your Nail Polish: The first thing that you need to know is that there are different nail thinners for gel polishes and for regular polishes.

Now to thin out a peel-off polish which is a water-based polish I would advise using drops of water and alcohol.

2- Check the Ingredients: I prefer avoiding nail thinners that have trace amounts of acetone, acetone will help thin out your polish but it also makes your manicures weaker and even discolored.

Best Nail Polish Thinners

The Best Nail Polish Thinners are

  1. Beauty Secrets Nail Thinner (Effective and doesn’t change the color of the polish in any way)
  2. Lechat Gel Polish Thinner (Great for gel and shellac polishes)
  3. Super Nail Polish Thinner (The most potent polish thinner)
  4. OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner (Ideal for vegan polishes)
  5. Seche Restore.

1- Beauty Secrets Nail Thinner

Beauty Secrets Nail Thinner is currently one of the most widely sold nail thinners on the market and is the brand that I have used for years now with all my regular polishes.

They are made right here in the USA.

Pros Of Beauty Secrets

1- Works With Most Brands of Polishes

Beauty Secrets nail thinner has a very simple formula which allows it to work with most nail polishes

It’s made of just 3 simple ingredients, butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, heptane, now if you check you will see that these solvents are found in most of your regular polishes.

List of Brands Polishes That I Have Used Them With

  1. OPI
  2. Sally Hansen
  3. Deborah Lippmann
  4. Essie
  5. CoverGirl
  6. Revlon
  7. Cirque

2- Blends With Your Polish really Good & Quickly

Beauty Secret Thinners start working almost immediately after you add it to your polish.

And they won’t require you to vigorously shake up your polish to get it to blend, which will prevent air bubbles from forming and save you time and effort.

3- Very Popular

Beauty Secrets nail thinners is one of the most widely sold thinners I suspect this is because of how amazing they work with almost any brand of polish.

This means that they have been used and tested by thousands of women so you can rest assured that you won’t be the only one trying it.

4- Only a Small Amount Needed

These thinners work so well that you are gonna only need a few drops so my advice is to add a little bit at first and see how it works.

Now if you accidentally add too much thinner to your polish and it becomes too watery, all you need to do is leave the bottle open and let the solvents evaporate which will make the polish thicker.

5- Easy to Add and Use

The bottles of these nail thinners come with a built-in dropper on its cork which allows you to quickly and easily add a small amount of thinner to your polish.

Cons of Beauty Secrets

  • Won’t Work With Gel Polish Beauty Secrets Nail Thinners will not work properly with gel polishes if you do use them the gel polishes will get thinner but they won’t cure properly.

Dont worry the next nail thinner in this article was specially designed to work with Gel Polishes, so keep on reading.

  • Abit More Expensive – a more premium brand of nail thinner this is because they use multiple ingredients instead of just one solvent like some nail thinners do.

And because of this, they tend to cost a bit more but I dont mind paying an extra few bucks because they work so well and you only need to use a small amount to get good results so they will last you a long time.

Where to Get Beauty Secret Nail Thinner

I usually buy these thinners from Amazon, they usually have them at good prices, you can click to see its current price.

Now if you can’t afford a nail polish thinner or you are urgently in need of getting your polish thinner you can read my DIY Guide to Thinning Nail Polish.

These DIY tips aren’t really effective and should only be used as a last resort.

2- Lechat Gel Polish Thinner

LeChat Nail Thinners are specialized thinners that blend amazingly with Gel and Shellac polishes.

They are the only brand of thinner that I trust to work with gel polishes.

These polish thinners were designed, patented and made by the LeChat Company and they have been in the nail industry for years now and are based in California.

How Do Gel Polish Thinners Work

LeChat Nail Thinners are made without any solvents instead they comprise of monomers and a photoinitiator. Citation.

These ingredients allow them to be added and blended with clumpy gel polishes to make them nice and consistent again without any issues.

You see the problem with most thinners that are marketed to work with gel polishes is that they dont include a photoinitiator in their formula. And photoinitiators are essential for gel polishes to cure and harden.

If you use a polish thinner without a photoinitiator, the gel polishes will get thin but they won’t cure or harden properly making them prone to cracking, chipping, and if you add too much the polish might not cure at all.

Pros of LeChat Nail Thinners

  • Works With Any Gel or Shellac Polish LeChat Thinners will work with any brand of gel polish. I have personally tried them with CND, Gelish, Gellen, Modelones, and Beetles.
  • Allows the Gel Polish to Cure or Harden will allow your gel polish to cure at its original time, other gel thinners usually weaken the polishes and increase the time needed for them to cure.
  • Easy to Use These Polish Thinners come with their own droppers which makes them super easy to add to your polishes.

How To Add Nail Thinners to Gel Polish

  • I usually just add two drops of thinner to the polish
  • Next, I would shake the bottles up vigorously, gel polishes tend to be very thick so they need to be shaken up.
  • Then examine your polishes to see if its a good consistency
  • If not repeat the process until your polish is to your satisfaction
  • Finally, let your gel polish rest for 20 minutes before using, this is done to allow any air bubbles to dissipate.

To shake up my gel polish I use an electric polish shaker, they work really fast and save you time and energy, you can click to learn more about these machines.

Cons of LeChat Thinners

  • Only Works with Gel and Shellac Polishes LeChat thinners will only blend with gel and shellac polishes if you add them to regular polishes you will end up ruining them.
  • Costs More These nail thinners are a bit more pricey than others this is because they use more ingredients that cost more.

Where to Get LeChat Gel Nail Polish Thinners

I usually get LeChat from Amazon, you can click to see the current price.

3- Super Nail Polish Thinner

Super Polish Thinners are like their name suggests really good at thinning out nail polish but the caveat is that they contain trace amounts of Acetone, which is the main ingredient found in nail polish remover.

Now the acetone is what makes this brand so effective but in exchange for working so good the nail thinner makes the nail polish a lot weaker.

So if you use Super Polish Nail Thinner your polish will be more fluid and consistent but it will also be more prone to peeling, cracking and it’s color would be faded

This thinner won’t work with gel polishes only regular ones and I would only advise using this polish thinner for truly dried up and clumpy polishes.

If you think that you need it you can click here to see the current price on Amazon.

4- Seche Restore

Seche Restore works really well as a thinner for top coats, especially for their own line of Seche Vite Top Coat.

They do work with regular polishes but I still would recommend Beauty Secrets over them.

The reason why I am not a big fan of Seche Restore is that it has Toluene as a solvent which has been shown to pose some serious health risks. Citation.

Now, most nail polishes dont use toluene anymore and that is why Seche Restore doesn’t blend so well with these polishes.

Also important to note that Seche Restore won’t work with gel polishes only regular polishes.

Who Should Get Seche Restore

If you use Seche Vite Top Coat and would like to either stretch it out or make it more consistent you should consider getting Seche Restore.

The reason why they work so well together is that its formula is made to match the mixture used for this Seche Vite Top Coat so this allows Seche Restore to blend really well with it.

You can click here to check out the price of Seche Restore on Amazon.

Ingredients of Nail Polish Thinners

Nail polish thinners are usually made of the same chemicals that are found in nail polish, this is so that they can act as replacement solvents when the chemicals in the polish evaporate.

The most common being butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, and isopropyl alcohol.

Other chemicals that are sometimes found are heptane, toluene, acetone, methyl acetate.

Gel Polish Thinners usually are made of monomers and a photoinitiator. Citation.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested in

How To DIY Thin Nail Polish With Alcohol & Hot Water.

Does Nail Polish & Gel Polish Expire & When Do They Expire

4 Best Nail Polish Shaker & Mixers 2020 To Make Polish Amazing

Citations and References

Patent # 9956160

Patent WO2014145889A1

Chemistry of Nail Polish

Acetone Properties and Uses

Methyl Acetate