Is Lakme Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2022?

There will hardly be one person who has not heard of Lakme.

It is a giant in the beauty industry. Its presence and popularity within South Asia itself are staggering. It has taken over the Indian beauty industry and has been one of the leading brands there for decades.

From its classic liquid eyeliner to its popular 9 to 5 collection, Lakme is quite a well-loved brand. Almost all of Lakme’s products have been received by the consumers positively.

But do you wonder if Lakme is cruelty-free and vegan in 2021? I think it is time to find out!

Is Lakme Cruelty-Free?

No. Lakme is not cruelty-free. I say this because there is no information that can attest the brand to be cruelty-free. It falls within a grey area that makes me not risk it and call Lakme a cruelty-free brand.

Since Lakme is not transparent enough to disclose its stance on the matter, it by default falls within the grey area.

About Lakme

The story of Lakme is quite interesting. In the early 1950s, then president Jawaharlal Nehru felt that the women in the country bought a lot of foreign beauty products. This meant that a lot of the foreign exchange was being spent on those products.

Thus he requested JRD Tata to manufacture similar beauty products in India. The result was the formation of Lakme in 1952. Once founded, the brand never had to look back. Over the years, its ownership was exchanged but the brand quality and popularity remained as strong as ever.

As the brand grew, more products were added and each received massive appreciation. It even reached its rightful position as the number 1 brand in terms of cosmetics in India. To this date, it remains to be one of the most trusted brands in the nation.

Is Lakme Owned by a Parent Company?

Yes. Lakme is owned by its parent company Hindustan Unilever. It is an Indian company that specializes in consumer goods. Hindustan Unilever is a subsidiary of the British company, Unilever.

When Lakme started out, it was a subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills (TOMCO), 100 percent. Hindustan Unilever acquired Lakme in 1996 when Tata sold its stakes in Lakme to it.

Testing Policy: Does Lakme Test on Animals?

Lakme has no animal testing policy published online that I could avail. There is no information on its policy when it comes to animal testing or its stance on the matter.

As I mentioned before, the lack of transparency makes it difficult to categorize the brand as one that does not test on animals. So by default, it is safer to assume that it tests on animals. Regardless, since 2014 India has banned animal testing. So for now we can consider it to be in the grey area.

Does Lakme Sell in China?

As far as the sources confirm- Lakme sells in India and Nepal mainly. It also exports its products in Malaysia. But there is no information on the brand exporting its products in China.

However, Lakme is sold on Chinese online platforms, such as Alibaba. It is important to know if Lakme is imported by China, as that would shed some light on its cruelty-free status.

Is Lakme Certified by PETA?

No. Lakme is not certified by PETA. Nor is it certified by similar organizations, such as Leaping Bunny.

This is another piece of evidence that signals that Lakme may not be a cruelty-free brand.

Is Lakme Vegan?

No. Lakme cannot be considered to be a vegan brand. Because yet again, Lakme has not disclosed its position in the matter.

As it again falls into the grey zone, it is better to personally contact them. Makeup items tend to contain non-vegan ingredients such as beeswax, carmine, etc. Unless a company clarifies in which products they use non-vegan ingredients, it is hard to call it a vegan brand.

Is Lakme Gluten-Free?

No. Lakme is not a gluten-free brand. Most of its products have gluten in them.

However, it also offers a few gluten-free products. To name a few:

  • Lakme 9 To 5 Primer + Matte Lip Color (Few Shades)
  • Lakme sun expert Ultra Matte SPF 50 pa+++ gel
  • Lakme Absolute Argan Oil Lip Color (Few Shades)
  • Lakme 9 To 5 Weightless Matte Mousse Lip And Cheek Colour (Few Shades)
  • Lakme sun expert Ultra Matte Compact SPF 40 pa+++

Is Lakme Paraben-Free?

No. Lakme is not completely free of parabens. You will find that most of their products contain some sort of paraben.

But they offer a few paraben-free products. So check the label carefully while buying!

Is Lakme Hypoallergenic?

No! Lakme is not a hypoallergenic brand entirely!

That being said, you will be able to find a few Lakme products that are hypoallergenic. So do your research on the product you want from Lakme!

Alternative Brands to Lakme

It goes without saying that, cruelty-free and vegan alternatives to Lakme are much needed!

You should immediately replace your Lakme products if you believe in the same cause as I do. But here are a few alternatives you can consider, to begin with!

  • WetnWild: This is a famous drugstore brand with some stunning products. This brand’s quality is quite remarkable, and you surely can replace Lakme with it! In fact, I can confidently say that WetnWild has much better products than Lakme!
  • NYX Professional Makeup: This is another amazing cruelty-free brand! The price range is quite close to that of Lakme, and the products are superb! You can easily replace Lakme with NYX. Check some of its stuff out, you will not regret it!

Fact Check

As I said, Lakme heavily falls into a grey zone, where it is hard to deduce if the brand is cruelty-free or not. But to avoid any risk, we can consider it tests on animals unless it proves otherwise.

Let us do a recap of why Lakme is in the grey zone:

  • There is no information on its position as a cruelty-free brand or otherwise.
  • It has no official testing policy issued.
  • Lakme’s parent company, HUL, tests on animals when required.
  • We do not know if it sells in China.
  • Lakme is not approved by PETA.
  • It is not completely free of gluten and parabens.
  • The brand is not entirely vegan or hypoallergenic.


To wrap up, it is quite unclear whether Lakme stands as an ethical brand or not. Due to the lack of transparency, we can consider it to be in the grey area. The alternatives suggested can be your go-to brands, till we find out more!

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