One of my fondest memories takes place in my grandmother’s vegetable garden. I was four years old and helping her water her lively tomato vines. I remember questioning the varying green and red hues of the tomatoes before my grandmother picked off a bright, red drop and handed it to me while explaining the life cycle of a plant from just a tiny seedling to its buoyant, edible form. From that moment, I was hooked and enamored by the power of plants.
My passion for food, ingredients and wellness blossomed as I studied Nutrition and took up yoga teaching as an undergraduate student at NYU. I began making my own soap bars, body oils, lip balms, and moisturizers once learning about all the harmful and carcinogenic ingredients in cosmetics. Although I experimented with many skin care companies, I was not completely satisfied with the products as many companies contained harmful ingredients and others lacked effective ones such as Retinol and Hydroxy Acids.
I consulted my parents, Dr. Anthony LaBruna (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and the Director of Manhattan Plastic Surgery) and Dr. Diane Hanan (NYC based Orthodontist). With my knowledge of nutrition, Dr. Hanan’s love of botanicals and science and Dr. LaBruna’s medical expertise, I envisioned a new company that could combine all our areas of expertise. LaBruna Skin Care and Nina’s handmade lines were born, products devoted to carrying clean, natural, effective, antioxidant and restorative products with anti-aging qualities.