Many people mistakenly believe that testosterone is a hormone that exclusively impacts men. But, in reality, testosterone levels influence everyone’s health, and women need to ensure that they have a healthy balance of testosterone and estrogen, too. Unfortunately, spotting a testosterone imbalance can be difficult. But, as with all hormonal irregularities, if you have an imbalance, you may notice skin conditions like acne or melasma first. 

So, how does testosterone impact women’s skin health? And what can women do to support healthy testosterone levels?

Woman standing with heavy barbell on shoulders

Testosterone in women

When most people hear “testosterone,” they think of bodybuilders and NFL athletes. However, in reality, testosterone is a hormone we all have in abundance, as it helps with normal daily functions and keeps us feeling focused and energized. 

For women, testosterone is secreted through the ovaries and the adrenal gland. Some of this testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone or estrogen. However, normal blood testosterone levels for women are around 15-70 nanograms per deciliter. This “normal” level is likely to change during a woman’s life and naturally declines as you age. 

Testosterone has many different functions in the body. It maintains your libido, combats the onset of conditions like osteoporosis, and helps modulate your mood. In addition, testosterone, like all hormones, plays a crucial role in ensuring that your skin looks healthy and happy. 

tired woman sleeping on office table at night

Hormonal imbalances and skin

There are plenty of reasons why you might experience a skin condition or pimple flare-up. Anything from allergens, genes, or autoimmune diseases can cause skin conditions like acne, rosacea, or psoriasis; and poor hygiene may make issues worse. For most conditions, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor as soon as possible (we recommend an integrative, functional, or naturopathic doctor), as they may be able to spot underlying issues and can usually get you on track to improve your skin health. 

However, it’s also possible that hormonal imbalances are at the root of your skin condition. That’s because hormones do more than cause hot flashes or mood swings. They regulate our day-to-day behavior and determine things like our sleep cycles, appetite, stress responses, and libido. 

Your hormones are also influenced by environmental factors, and imbalances may be caused by things like poor diets, an overdose of caffeine, too much alcohol or sugar, or a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, these are all things that we are predisposed to in modern society, which can mean getting your hormones back in balance can be difficult and stressful. 

Testosterone imbalance in women can lead to acne

Hormonal acne

Let’s talk about acne for a moment. Acne is a condition that impacts 50% of women between the ages of 20-29 and can continue to impact women in their 40s. While researchers aren’t entirely sure about what causes acne, hormonal acne may flare up during menstruation or menopause, as your testosterone levels are in flux during this time. 

There are natural treatments for hormonal acne, but first and foremost, you must understand that acne is a normal part of life — even if the beauty industry says otherwise. Holding unrealistic beauty standards won’t help your acne go away and may even worsen the flare-up as stress is one of the root causes of acne. So, before you start reaching for harsh chemicals or popping pimples, try to think of your acne as a normal part of life rather than a blemish to be embarrassed about. 

natural protein food on table

Handling testosterone

Your testosterone levels naturally change throughout your life. As such, there’s no universal remedy to a testosterone imbalance: women going through menopause may benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, while women with high testosterone may need other treatments to rebalance their levels. The key is to speak to a qualified, licensed medical professional who can help you get the treatment you need and ensure that you aren’t at risk from other underlying conditions. 

That said, there are also a few natural remedies to testosterone-induced skincare issues — most of which involve making lifestyle changes. You can boost your testosterone naturally by engaging in exercise and weightlifting and ensuring that you eat a diet founded on whole foods with plenty of protein and carbs. You also need to keep your sleep schedule in check and ensure that you aren’t drinking too much alcohol, as this can dampen your body’s ability to produce testosterone. 

It’s also possible that you’re being exposed to xenoestrogens that mimic the effect of estrogen. Estrogen and testosterone work in unison with one another, so staying away from xenoestrogens could be the answer to your testosterone imbalance. 

Female doctor using laptop at work


Hormones play a vital role in women’s health and skincare. However, our hormones are always in flux, as environmental changes and genetic predispositions influence the amount of testosterone we produce. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, or just want to get a better understanding of how hormones are impacting your skin, then you should get in touch with a medical professional who can figure out if and why your testosterone is irregular and create a treatment plan to help you live a healthier, happier life with fewer acne flare-ups. 

Do you want to learn more about the role of hormones in skin health?

We devote an entire month to studying this topic in our professionally accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program. Learn more, download our syllabus, and enroll here.