While pregnant with her first child, photographer Gisel Florez found traditional creams and salves to be full of chemicals and ingredients she wasn’t comfortable putting in her body. Having always loved science and experiments, she decided to try making her own products using the best natural ingredients she could find. The process inspired her to use her talents as a still life photographer to create a visual story that expresses the mystery and experimentation involved in making products from scratch. The images beautifully honor the simplicity of natural products and ingredients, and along with her photographs she was kind enough to share some of her favorite DIY beauty recipes.

Dry Hand Salve

1 part Beeswax
1 part Cocoa Butter + Shea Butter
1/2 part Oil Infusion*
1/2 part equal mix of Almond oil/Avocado Oil/Jojoba Oil
1/8 part Coconut oil

Melt the above ingredients in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Once Melted, remove from heat and add the following:

1/6 part Propolis Extract**
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
10 drops Lavender
3-5 drops Tea Tree Oil

Immediately place into containers.

*Oil Infusion
Place desired herbs (comfrey, burdock root, calendula flower, chickweed, chamomile, nettle) in a jar with olive oil and let sit in direct sunlight for 1-3 months

**Propolis Tincture (optional boost for eczema):
You can often find propolis tinctures at your local farmers market, or you can make your own:

Freeze one nugget of propolis and then crush in coffee grinder.
Place in jar and fill up with 10 times the propolis mass with high proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear).
Cover and let sit in the dark for three days or more, shaking it 1-3 times per day.
Strain through a disposable tea bag and keep in a closed jar in a dark location.

Herbal Shampoo

8 oz Hot Water
4 tsp Green Tea
4 Tsp Herbs (e.g. chamomile, mallow root, rosemary, rose petal, burdock root, nettle, sage, hibiscus, yucca root, fenugreek seeds)
3 oz Castile soap
1.5 tbsp Aloe Vera
1/8 Tsp Jojoba oil
10 drops essential oil of choice (for scent)
1 Tsp Vit E (optional – for longer storage)

Boil water, add herbs and brew till water cools. Strain, and pour into a large bottle. Add Castile soap, aloe, jojoba oil, essential oils, and vitamin E. Close and shake vigorously. Shake before use.


2 Tbsp Beeswax
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
2 Tbsp Shea Butter

Melt the above ingredients in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Once melted, add the following:

2  Tbsp Arrowroot
3 Tbsp Baking Soda (optional, omit if you have sensitive skin)
1 Tbsp Bentonite Clay Powder (optional, for detox qualities)

Once mixed, remove from heat and add:

1/2 Tsp Vit E
10 Drops Tea Tree
10 Drops Lavender
10 Drops Lemon or Bergamot

Pour into a new or clean recycled deodorant container. Place in freezer for 1 hour.

Photography by Gisel Florez