Skip to Content

Can Nail Polish Freeze?

Can Nail Polish Freeze?

Nail polish is a versatile cosmetic product used to change the appearance of nails. One unique thing with nail polishes is that they are highly pigmented, and a little goes a long way. Because of this feature, a single bottle of this product can serve you for several months, which makes it economical. 

Though beneficial, the lasting power of nail polishes comes with its own worries. One of these is the product drying up or going bad on you. A major concern among many customers is whether nail polishes freeze. In reality, nail polishes do have a freezing point that results in them getting clumpy and thick. 

Can Nail Polish Freeze?

If you were therefore questioning whether nail polishes freeze, the answer is yes. Take note, however, that this does not just happen but is accelerated by a number of factors, as you will find out below. 

What Causes Your Nail Polish To Freeze?

Can Nail Polish Freeze?

Photo By Maria Lupan on

Quality of the Nail Polish

The truth is not all nail polishes will freeze at the same speed. How quickly your polish freezes has a lot to do with its quality. Different brands use different chemicals in their polish that make it more likely to freeze, while others don’t have this problem at all. If you, therefore, find yourself with frozen nail polish often, try switching brands to see if it makes a difference. 

Too Much Air Getting Into Your Nail Polish Bottle

Most nail polishes are made in such a way that they maintain their liquidity form while in the bottle and solidify when exposed to the air. If you, therefore, have a habit of letting too much air get into the bottle while applying the polish, this may lead to it freezing. 

Nail polishes solidify slowly, and it may therefore take you some time to realize the damage. 

Storing Them in Unfavorable Conditions

Every nail polish has its intended freezing point. If you, therefore, fail to store it correctly, you may end up speeding its freezing point, and this may render it useless after some time. It’s essential to note that not all nail polishes are similar, and some of them have a lower freezing point than others. The freezing point of nail polish depends on its ingredients. 

Nail polishes are made from a mixture of several ingredients. The most common base is a combination of ethyl acetate and butyl acetate. Other ingredients include camphor, nitrocellulose, and toluene. These ingredients are dissolved in an alcohol solution and then mixed into the colorant that gives the polish its hue. Alcohol freezes at -173 degrees Celsius while water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, exposing your polish to such temperatures may cause it to freeze. 

Shortcomings of Frozen Nail Polish

Frozen nail polishes change their consistency and become less effective.

Nail polishes usually contain an organic base (made up of ethyl acetate or butyl acetate), a solvent (for example the, butyl acetate, toluene, and hexane), a plasticizer (usually dibutyl phthalate or benzophenone-1), a colorant (most often inorganic pigments such as iron oxides) and other ingredients such as camphor, ethyl acetate or trimethylpentanediyl dibenzoate for viscosity modification. 

When nail polish freezes, it does not change its chemical properties. It, however, becomes more rigid, and this causes the water in it to crystallize and form ice crystals that can break open the bottle or cap and leak out of the container. 

Frozen nail polish can never serve you as well as your regular polish. Such polish will be clumpy and rigid and won’t apply evenly to your nails. Worse still, a frozen polish may end up harming your nails and hands as it may harbor bacteria and germs that may cause infections. 

How to Prevent Your Nail Polish from Freezing

Nail polish that freezes is not at all uncommon. In fact, it’s a problem that has plagued women for years and years. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to prevent your nail polish from freezing, as discussed below. 

Store the Polish in a Cool and Dark Place

One of the surest ways to keep your nail polish from freezing and changing its consistency is to store it in a cool and dark place. Nail polishes are formulated in such a manner that they dry when they come in contact with heat and light. You can therefore avoid this by storing it in a cool and dry place. 

Keep Your Nail Polish Bottle Always Closed

Another secret to preventing your nail polish from freezing is to always keep the bottle closed to avoid air getting in and affecting the consistency. This will require that you close the bottle between coats using your thumb finger and tightly close the bottle after use. 

Settle On Quality Nail Polishes

The quality of your nail polish has a lot to do with how quickly it freezes or dies off. You can therefore avoid this stress by settling on a high-quality polish that won’t dry out fast. This may cost you more money, but it will be worth it in the long run. 

Avoid Stocking Up on Nail Polishes

Having your nail polishes stay for too long is another contributing factor to their drying up. It’s not worth spending your money on many different varieties of polishes, only for them to end up freezing at home. If possible, minimize your options to three or four different varieties that you can use within a short span of time. 

Also, ensure to settle on the small bottles that will finish up quickly without giving you the headache of where and how to store them to avoid freezing. 

Keep Your Nail Polish Upright

The angle you put your polish in determines how fast it dries up or freezes. Placing your nail polish in an upright position or sideways will cause it to dry and clump at the opening of the bottle. Therefore ensure to always place your nail polishes upright. 

How to Revive Frozen Nail Polish

There is nothing as heartbreaking as having to throw away your favorite makeup product, especially when it’s a rare shade and color. If you just found out that your lovely nail polish has frozen and you are wondering what to do to revive it and continue reaping its benefits, below are some of the effective ways to unfreeze a frozen nail polish for your consideration.

Immerse the Bottle in a Jar of Hot Water

Hot water works wonders in liquefying frozen nail polish. All you have to do is dip the bottle in the water for a couple of minutes and shake it thoroughly for the ingredients to mix. 

Mix the Frozen Nail Polish with a Single Drop of your favorite nail polish remover

Nail polish removers are a known lifesaver in thinning thickened nail polishes. All you have to do is add a single drop of the solution into your frozen nail polish and shake to mix. These removers contain useful ingredients that help liquefy the polish without affecting its value. 

You can also use acetone, that’s readily available in most drugstores, to loosen the frozen nail polish. As with the polish remover, ensure to only use a single drop of it and give it time to settle and work on liquefying the solution. 

Rub the Frozen Polish between the Palms of Your Hands

Sometimes all you need is a simple step such as rolling the bottle between your hands to unfreeze the solution. The effectiveness of this option, however, depends on how thick your polish has gotten. If this option does not work for you, try opting for any other in the above list. 


If you have been wondering whether nail polishes do freeze, you now have the answer. Like any other product, nail polishes are prone to freezing when there is a change in temperature. Frozen polishes diminish in their effectiveness and will not serve you as well as before. 

To reap the maximum benefits from your favorite polish, ensure to store it correctly in a cool and dark place. Lastly, ensure to close the bottle tightly to prevent air from getting in and interfering with the composition of your product.