Berlin Skin Squad: Cristin Smith, Owner of Saffron & Sage

If we had to dream up a space that combined our love for holistic healthcare, skincare, and wellness services, it would likely look a lot like Saffron & Sage. Aside from the stunning space (which is both calming and inspiring) — the services offered on their menu are expansive, including everything from acupuncture to massage therapy to facials to life coaching. Founded and owned by Cristin Smith, Saffron & Sage is a prime space to turn to when looking for holistic ways to cultivate the mind and nourish the body.

We are so excited for our partnership with Saffron & Sage and can’t wait to share more about who they are with all of you.

Read on to learn more about how Cristin came to bring Saffron & Sage to the world and how she is practicing rest as a lifestyle now more than ever.


Tell us a little about who you are and your journey to opening Saffron & Sage. What's your background as it relates to nontoxic beauty and skincare?

I’m Cristin Smith, Founder & CEO of Saffron & Sage. I’m 35 years old and have two furbabies. When I am not transforming the face of healthcare you can find me on the tennis court or out sailing on the bay!

Saffron & Sage grew out of my journey towards health and wholeness. When I was in my mid-20’s doctors found 4 tumors rapidly growing in my thyroid but they couldn't identify the root cause. They recommended surgery and told me I would be dependent on pharmaceutical drugs for the rest of my life. 

This news was alarming to me so I pulled together my own multi-disciplinary team of practitioners from LA to Tijuana. It took about a year but at the end of that year we were able to identify the root cause and create a plan for intervention. In addition to the treatments and therapies I started incorporating products became a big part of my life. My functional medicine doctors made it clear that I had to detox my beauty bag and remove any endocrine disrupting ingredients from my self care shelf. I had to swap out my skincare to make-up, and this was a very exhausting and discouraging process. 

This motivated me to make curation the centerpiece of our philosophy - taking the label reading and researching off your plate and stocking our shelves with products that are nourishing and healing. We invested a ton of time into testing products and ensuring we were carrying the best of the best. We don’t carry competing products. For example, we carry one deodorant - primally pure. We want to remove the guesswork and make your life simple! When it came to skincare we ran into an entirely different problem. There were a lot of clean products on the market - but all things you and I could whip up in our kitchen. They didn’t have any actives and didn’t transform your skin so in an effort to provide our patients with holistic skincare that works to detoxify and nourish your skin from within. 

Growing up with problematic skin this was especially important for me. Having acneic skin I tried everything on the market to no avail. I wanted a skincare system that was simple and effective that brought balance to blemishes and scarring, supported graceful aging and worked for every woman. We went to work and our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Salar Parvini created a phenomenal line that has been flying off the shelves since we launched last November.

Tell us a little bit about the Saffron & Sage mission. What is the big “why” that motivates what you and your team does?

Vision (the future we hope to see): To transform the wellbeing of the world's most influential leaders.

Mission (how we are contributing to the fulfillment of our vision): Connecting leaders to curated practices, practitioners, products and places.

Promise (what are we promising to the world): Empowerment (taking control through guided support).

**Empowering people to take control of their own health and wellness — we provide the tools to be successful but there needs to be a commitment. 

I don’t want anyone to have to experience what I did: as a teenager talking to doctors about my skin and being pushed pills…to being in my mid 20’s and having doctor’s recommend they slice open my neck and tell me I will have to be on life sustaining medication. These are suffocating solutions that aren’t life giving — nor are they addressing the root cause. I want to save our clients from wasting tens of thousands of dollars on chasing down mystery diseases and trying the latest and greatest products that everyone is trying to sell you. I want to empower our clients to live therapeutically and sustainably!

What is your definition of success? What do you consider your most recent accomplishment?

Personally - living therapeutically and sustainably. I love my life! I measure success based upon the quality of my community - my relationships in my personal and professional life. How am I learning and growing? I like to dance salsa, I’ve been taking sailing lessons, and I am playing tennis again. All different activities where I get out of my mind and into my body. Living slowly is a big metric for me. I like to wake up slowly — take Harper for a walk, drink my herbs, pull my cards and map out my day. In the evenings I have social time and time to get grounded and unwind in my home space.

What is one way you’re being intentional about practicing rest as a lifestyle lately?

I keep the lights off when I come home then as the natural light goes down I slowly transition to the next phase of my evening routine so I don’t expose myself to artificial light and allow my body to be cued by the darkness and support my circadian rhythm. I lie in bed put on my glow finishing oil and use my gua sha - draining the lymphatic fluid from my face and release tension held in my neck and jaw.

Was there anyone in particular who inspired your desire to open Saffron & Sage?

Me! I always say, out of the 4 companies I have founded this one was the only one I created just for me. I needed a multi-disciplinary team of practitioners under one roof who were experts in preventive and integrative medicine providing advanced diagnostics and spa-like services in a healing environment. I wanted to be able to get all the products and prescriptions they recommended right there and not have to go anywhere else. I wanted to put a new spin on medicine - make it luxurious - transforming the traditional clinical experience into a place you actually wanted to go to. Our patients love coming to see their doctor, and acupuncturist and personal trainer. They all sit around the same table and provide customized care for every patient that walks through the door. I needed this place to exist and it turns out so do a whole lot of other leaders!

What do you hope for Saffron & Sage in the next 5 years? 

In 5 years you will be seeing boutique locations opening in strategic locations across the country to continue providing affordable access to holistic healthcare. 

You will be seeing a unique space open that is centered around holistic skincare - this is the second part to my three-pronged vision as we reframe skincare and selfcare inviting our Saffrons to explore an entirely new dimension of wellbeing. 

You are going to see some amazing new product releases starting with something special this coming spring! Our chief science officer, Dr. Parvini and I have been hard at work on a product that is going to make waves in the clean beauty and holistic skincare world!

In the spirit of the new year, what is one thing you’re leaving behind in 2020 and one thing you’re taking with you in 2021?

Personally I am leaving behind limiting beliefs, my old scarcity mentality and an unorganized house and trading it in for an abode with pull out drawers and a categorized closet, a posture of prosperity and an attitude of abundance in my relationships and experiences! 

For the business we are leaving behind gaps in our business model — launching new offerings that make us recession proof and allow us to stand the test of time and enhance our products and services to serve our clients in any climate! We are taking our innovation with us into 2021 - the innovation that lead to the launch of our pharmacy, hand sanitizer and herbal tea collection all during the Covid crisis!

What is your favorite Berlin Skin product and why?

I am in love with the Geranium + Rose Toner! I use it everyday after I cleanse my skin and I am obsessed with the quality and simplicity of the product and of the entire Berlin Skin line!


Follow along with Cristin and the Saffron & Sage team over on Instagram and shop their beautiful, curated selection of skincare and wellness apothecary on their website. If you are local to San Diego, be sure to check out their holistic healthcare offerings and wellness services like acupuncture, fire cupping, massage, and more.