Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL review – ideal for facial use

Panasonic ES-WH90

4.3

Team Panasonic didn’t give the Panasonic ES-WH90 a sexy name. But the design is rather good. The cordless, ergonomic shape and flash operation combine for perfect facial use. It's good for smaller areas too and is a solid, quality bit of kit for under £150. The IPL facial attachment doubles as a skin brightening tool on safe skin tones too.

Best for facial use & radiant skin

The Panasonic ES-WH90 uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to slow and reduce your hair growth rate on body and face. It’s safe for use at home on light to dark skin tones and dark hair. Continued use eventually stops your hair growth and periodic maintenance sessions keep your skin silky smooth.

Ideal design for facial hair removal PLUS it brightens skin
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe for skin tones I to V, light to dark skin
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair

Lamp lifetime
The flashes last 10+ years of monthly use so you’ll enjoy silky smoothness for ages.

Ease of use
Simple to operate, cordless ergonomic shape & quick for small areas & face. But no skin tone sensor.

Effort & Results
Smooth skin after a weekly session for 2 months, then top-ups every few weeks.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quality solid build & cordless operation
  • Shape perfectly suits facial use
  • Clever design facial adaptor is perfect for awkward upper lip
  • Doubles as glow-enhancing facial beauty device
  • Clinically-proven & CE certification

Cons

  • No skin tone sensor
  • Battery & flash rate not suited to legs or whole-body sessions
  • No money-back guarantee
  • Not yet FDA-cleared in US

View deals £100 to £150:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Order via Amazon.co.uk

In this Panasonic ES-WH90 review:

First impressions

The box is small, white and pink with lots of copy in German, Italian, French and Spanish languages alongside the primary English copy. It’s a tad bland. But it does the job and has most of the information you need.

Photo of the Panasonic ES-WH90 box front showing a pretty, smooth-legged lady witha clode up of the device.
OK packaging. I like that Panasonic explain it’s for ‘long-term hair reduction’.
Photo of the informtion printed on the back of the Panasonic Es-WH90 box.
Clear suitable skin tone and hair colour charts and areas you can use it on, but no clear explanation of facial skin rejuvenation though.

The contents slide out in protective cardboard compartments. It’s secure and compact, but hardly love at first sight. It’s dull, like opening an electric toothbrush or shaver.

The slide out cardboard compartments from the Panasonic ES-WH90 box. Inside it is the device, power cable, facial attachment , manual and leaflets.
Very functional and secure. mostly cardboard ♻, but not much ‘WOW’
Photo of the Panasonic ES-WH90 box contents laid out on a white background.
The ES-WH90 box contents.

What’s in the box?

  • ES-WH90 device with body attachment and protective cap
  • Facial attachment
  • UK power supply
  • User manual
  • Warranty card
  • Suitable hair and skin tone chart leaflet
  • Patch test and mandatories to follow leaflet

View Panasonic ES-WH90 deals

Before you start

Before you start, read the user manual and do a skin sensitivity test.

Photo of the Panasonic ES-WH90 lying next to the open user manual.
The 24 pages are in English! It’s easy to follow and comprehensive. I’d like to see more information about how the IPL skin rejuvenation works though.

The user manual is comprehensive with helpful diagrams treatment time guides by body area, how to use it guide, cleaning, and troubleshooting Q&A section. It’s logical, helpful and makes sense. However, there’s not much explanation of skin rejuvanation .

Please pay close attention to the contraindications and other safety warnings because there are several reasons you could be unsuitable to use home IPL. These include being pregnant, having epilepsy, taking photosensitising medications, skin conditions, on tattoos or after skin peels. Learn more about home IPL contraindications here and read the manual too!

The user manual also warns you not to use the ES-WH90 on suntanned skin. But that’s where the advice ends. So, I’d suggest as with other brands, you wait between 2 to 4 weeks after sunbathing before using it. You also shouldn’t expose treated skin to the sun for 2 weeks after treatment and apply SPF 30 sun protection for the duration of your treatment regimen.

This is cautious but standard guidance to keep your skin healthy and safe.

You must also do a skin sensitivity test. Start on the lowest level and then, if there’s no reaction, treat 48 hours later. For the next session repeat at the next intensity level if it’s comfotable.

Close up of the power button and intensity 'select' button on the ES-WH90. Intensity level 3 is selected, shown by 3 small indicator lights illuminated blue.
Test and treat on level 1, then repeat on the high levels only if it’s comfortable.

Because my skin tone is fair to medium, I decided to do a few patch tests at level 4 and 5 on my treatment area. I waited the suggested 2 days and continued at level 5.

Getting started

close up of the Hollywood Browzer sharp blade behind safety bars for no nicks or cuts
Dermaplaning: better than shaving your face!

You can learn more about how to prepare for your sessions here. And if you’ll be zapping facial or neck hairs I recommend dermaplaning as an alternative to shaving. Learn more about dermaplaning here.

Buy dermaplaning tools:

Here’s a quick summary on how to use the Panasonic, and there’s loads more detail in the following sections.

  1. Shave before every treatment (unless there’s no hair left!)
  2. Plug-in and press the power button. You’ll hear the cooling fan whir.
  3. Select your intensity level.
  4. Position on your skin at a 90-degree angle and push down to depress the rim.
  5. After the flash, slide to the next spot and repeat. Cover your skin in flashes avoiding overlap.

When finished, press and hold the power button for 2 seconds to switch it off.

For this review, I treated my extended bikini line, underarms and face. I didn’t test on legs because the 30-minute battery life isn’t long enough to complete a session. Here’s my other feedback.

View Panasonic ES-WH90 deals

Long-lasting quality

Manufactured in Japan by Panasonic Corporation, this is Panasonic’s offering to the home IPL hair removal market. I like the strong reputation of this trusted, household electronic brand.

The build quality is excellent. It feels solid and expensive, with no creaks or cracks. The charging cable is decent quality and fits snug in the base of the device.

Close up photo of the massive body flash window on the Panasonic ES-WH90. It's 5.4cm2 big
The Panasonic ES-WH90 has a very large body flash window so it’s exceptional value for treating small body areas.

And you get plenty of flashes too. Panasonic explain you get more using the lower intensities. If you use the highest level 5 you get around 100,000 flashes. That’s good for a large total body area of 540,000 cm2 which is equal to 135 full body treatments, lasting 10 years of monthly treatments. That’s many more than you’ll need.

N.B. I’ve used only the bulb life to calculate the years of use. General usage and wear and tear can also affect how long the machine keeps working.

So, it’s a long-lasting investment. You get a 2-year warranty. But unfortunately, Panasonic don’t offer a money back guarantee.

Cordless & perfect shape

The long wand-like shape s unique, and during testing I found it’s particularly well-suited to facial treatments. Here’s why.

Gentle curves and a disctinctive shape. 21cm long and 360g
The cordless ES-WH090 is cordless so you can use it in the privacy of the bathroom.

Firstly, it’s cordless, so there’s no tangles and you can use it anywhere.

The first charge takes 3 hours. From each full charge you get 600 flashes. This is ample for face and small areas, but not always enough for both full legs.

Charge it after each use so it’s ready to go next time. And take care of the battery. Remember to charge it periodically even if not in use (at least every 2 or 3 months) as this prolongs the life of the battery.

Photo of the basic off-white power cable with UK plu, The power cable inserted securely inthe device base, and the device lying on a flat surface as it charges.
Lay it flat as it charges. The plug charging indicator light illuminates during the 3 hour charging cycle.

Next, the curvy, slightly weighty wand-like shape fits comfortably in your hand with a gentle yet secure grip. And the angled head affords a precise view of the flash-end as you look in the mirror.

2 photos of a hand holding the ES-Wh90 device. Photo 1: My left hand holds the device with the body attachment facing downwards. This is most comfortable for your legs. Photo 2: my right hand holds the device with the facial attachment point up. This is best for treating your face.
ways to grip it, depending on which body area you’re treating. Left: legs and bikini line, Right: face

Then there’s also a raised lip around the tapered flash windows. You can see exactly where you’re placing it – it’s perfect for your upper lip.

View Panasonic ES-WH90 deals

Simple & intuitive

On the handle, just below the natural grip, are 2 simple buttons to control it. One to power it on and the other to select your intensity level. There are 5 intensity levels to choose from, the low levels are safe for darker skin tones.

Press the ‘select’ button to cycle up through the levels. You get faster results using the safest, highest intensity level for your skin tone.

5 photos of a finger pressing the 'select' button on the Panasonic ES-WH90, each photos shows 1,2,3,4 then 5 intensity indicator lights illuminated blue.
The low levels are safe for darker skin tones and the higher sare safe for light tones.
The flash trigger is built into the flash windows and activates when depressed against your skin.

There’s no flash button either. Instead, the lip around the flash attachments doubles as a switch mechanism to control the flashes. The lip presses in to flash, then springs back up again. It’s intuitive and very simple. And it reduces the escaping brightness of the IPL flashes when it’s firmly pressed against your skin.

Close up photos of the Panasonic ES-WH90 flash window and pressure activated 'button' mechanism built into the body attachments.
The body flash window works on a spring mechanism, where you push and depress the window against your skin to get a flash.

Press against your skin and relase after the flash for a single flash. The flashes come continuously if you keep the head pressed against your skin and slide it along between flashes. An in-built safety mechanism stops after 10 flashes. Simply lift from the skin and press down to start another set.

The larger flash window for underarms and bikini line
2 photos of the Panasonic ES-WH90 device with the facial attachment and the body attachment in place.
Left: small facial window, right: large body window for underarms, bikini line and legs

The large 5.4 cm2 body attachment is best for underarms, tummy and bikini line. The 2.4 cm2 facial attachment for zapping hair on your upper lip, jawline and neck. And for brightening your face too.

Facial rejuvenation

With regular use, the facial attachment also doubles as a full IPL facial rejuvenation treatment.

As well as for hair reduction, IPL can also enhance skin tone and reduce areas of pigmentation. It’s a popular beauty clinic treatment because it fixes the effects of sun damage. It can help with:

  • Fine lines.
  • Pigmented spots like large freckles.
  • Enlarged pores and uneven weird textures.

It takes between 5 to 10 mins to cover your face and neck (avoiding your eyes and lips). The IPL reaches into your skin and is absorbed by dark spots, redness and pigmentation. The heat breaks down these pigmented areas and your surrounding skin heals it. So, unenen colour fades over time, revealing a more even complexion.

This skin healing also triggers collagen production. The collagen smooths and plumps your skin. It softens the appearance of pores and irregular textures, so shedding the old dull skin reveals new, fresh skin that’s more finely textured and glows.

For illustrative purpose only: after IPL on right shows glowing, brighter skin with a smooth, fine texture and even tone.

View Panasonic ES-WH90 deals

Smooth & glowing results

For hair removal, Panasonic say treat your face, underarms and bikini line weekly for 2 months. Then switch to one session every 2 weeks, and eventually to monthly as needed.

To rejuvenate your complexion, use the facial attachment every three days for 2 months to give a glow to your complexion. However, Panasonic don’t give much further information. They don’t say how long the results last or if you must keep going with the sessions.

A snippet of the Panasonic ES-WH90 product page that explains (badly) how it works for facial rejuvenation / brightening. There’s no real data and they don’t share the full study.
A section of Panasonic’s ES-WH90 product page “explaining” IPL rejuvenation and the results rather badly

With a bit more information and access to results of a positive study, I’d get very excited about this device. I love the idea of the dual benefits of the Panasonic ES-WH90 for hair removal and fresh, glowing skin.

For now, I’ll trust in the Panasonic brand whilst our test continues. It’s an attractive added extra because it’s still a fab choice for facial hair removal.

IMPORTANT TIPS:
❌ DON’T use facial and chemical peels whilst using the ES-WH90 for skin rejuvenation. It makes your skin more sensitive to the IPL and can cause side effects.
✔ USE a sunscreen minimum SPF 30 during the course of treatment. Your skin is more sensitive to the sun after IPL and it also protects your skin from further sun damage.
👉 Don’t expect a miracle! As with IPL hair removal, results will vary by user and can be subtle.

The Negatives

There are a few negatives to consider with the ES-WH90.

First, because its battery powered, you’ll need to stop and recharge it after it’s given 600 flashes. This means you can’t complete a whole-body session in one sitting. But it’s fine for your face and a few small areas. Care for the battery by charging it every few months when not in regular use.

In addition, our tester shared the ES-WH90 is a bit boring if treating large areas like your legs. That’s because, although the body flash window is large, the flash rate is seconds slower than other faster rivals. So, progress seems slower. But again, it’s fine for your face and smaller areas.

No skin tone sensor so some guesswork needed for darker skin tones!

Next, the Panasonic ES-WH90 doesn’t have a skin tone sensor. If you’ve fair skin this may not concern you because you can safely use most of the intensity levels anyway. But if you have medium to dark skin you may be apprehensive. In that case, I recommend the gentle Silk’n Infinity home IPL for around the same price.

And finally, there’s no extra reassurance of a money back guarantee which is a pity. But the ES-WH90 is one of the most affordable home devices, often under £150.

Should I buy it?

Yes. It’s a fantastic value device you can buy for under £200. It scores highly against all the criteria and I recommend it especially for facial hair removal & radiant skin rejuvenation.

I love the top-quality and solid build, and the comfy, cordless, long wand-like-shape that’s easy to manoeuvre and flash. It’s a no nonsense IPL device for a very attractive price.

Various photos of the Panasonic ES-WH90 device with the facial attachment in place.
I recommend the Panasonic ES-WH90 for small areas and especially facial zapping hair removal and skin brightening!

Here’s a quick recap of the Panasonic ES-WH90 pros and cons in this review.

Pros

  • Excellent value for under £200
  • Doubles as glow-enhancing facial beauty device
  • Flashes give 10+ years of monthly full body treatments
  • Fast treatments, full leg in around 10 mins
  • Clever design facial adaptor is perfect for awkward upper lip
  • Shape is perfectly suited for facial use
  • Comfortable to hold, easy to position
  • Simple to operate
  • Cordless operation
  • Quality materials, solid build
  • Suitable for a broader range of skin types (I to V)
  • Integrated UV filter
  • CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
  • Trusted brand
  • 2-year Panasonic warranty

Cons

  • Not suitable for the darkest and black skin
  • No skin tone sensor
  • Not FDA-cleared
  • No cleaning cloth or storage pouch
  • No money-back guarantee period

View Panasonic ES-WH90 deals

When you shop via my links I earn a small commission (but your price stays the same). And I really appreciate your support 🙏!

Buy the Panasonic ES-WH90 - best for facial user

Panasonic ES-WH90 deals:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Order via Amazon.co.uk

Hollywood Browzers dermaplaning tool duo

Buy dermaplaning tools:
🇬🇧 Hollywood Browzer duo & all colour options, Cheaper option (but not as sharp!)
🇺🇸 Hollywood Browzer & all colour options, Cheaper options (but not as sharp!)

close

WANT MORE?

I'LL EMAIL YOU WITH THE LATEST HOME BEAUTY TECH REVIEWS & ARTICLES!

By subscribing you agree to my Privacy Policy and to receive emails from me. I don't spam.

Load More Related Articles

WANT MORE?

I'll email you with the latest home beauty tech reviews & articles.

By subscribing you agree to my Privacy Policy and to receive emails from me. I don't spam. 

Home Laser & IPL reviews

Philips Lumea Prestige review – my overall favourite
4.9

Philips Lumea Prestige review – my overall favourite

Smoothskin Pure review; fastest, easiest, best value premium IPL
4.8

Smoothskin Pure review; fastest, easiest, best value premium IPL

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL review – Fast & no-faff
4.7

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL review – Fast & no-faff

Venus Silk expert/ Braun Silk expert 5 IPL review (5001, 5009, 5008); fast, safe & simple
4.5

Venus Silk expert/ Braun Silk expert 5 IPL review (5001, 5009, 5008); fast, safe & simple

Tria 4X laser hair removal review – most powerful
4.5

Tria 4X laser hair removal review – most powerful

Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL review; fast & perfect for mid to dark skin
4.5

Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL review; fast & perfect for mid to dark skin

Silk’n Infinity review: safe for dark & black skin
4.4

Silk’n Infinity review: safe for dark & black skin

Smoothskin Bare+ home IPL review; fast & affordable
4.4

Smoothskin Bare+ home IPL review; fast & affordable

Smoothskin Bare IPL review; Ultra-fast & superb for dark skin
4.3

Smoothskin Bare IPL review; Ultra-fast & superb for dark skin

Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL review – ideal for facial use
4.3

Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL review – ideal for facial use

Iluminage Precise Touch review; for ALL skin tones, & fair hair
4.3

Iluminage Precise Touch review; for ALL skin tones, & fair hair

Philips Lumea Advanced review – suits face, bikini & underarms
4.2

Philips Lumea Advanced review – suits face, bikini & underarms

Iluminage Touch review;  for dark & black skin, & fair hair too
4.1

Iluminage Touch review; for dark & black skin, & fair hair too

Gillette Venus Braun Silk Expert 3 IPL review (BD3001, BD3005)
4.1

Gillette Venus Braun Silk Expert 3 IPL review (BD3001, BD3005)

Silk’n Flash & Go Express review / Glide Xpress review (300,000 flashes)
4.0

Silk’n Flash & Go Express review / Glide Xpress review (300,000 flashes)

Philips Lumea Essential BRI861 review
4.0

Philips Lumea Essential BRI861 review

Remington iLight review: Ultra, IPL6500, IPL6780, IPL6750, IPL6250
3.7

Remington iLight review: Ultra, IPL6500, IPL6780, IPL6750, IPL6250

Philips Lumea Comfort review SC1981 and SC1983
3.6

Philips Lumea Comfort review SC1981 and SC1983

Silk’n Glide 150,000 review / Silk’n Flash&Go Compact review
3.5

Silk’n Glide 150,000 review / Silk’n Flash&Go Compact review

Veet Infini’Silk review 50,000 pulses
2.9

Veet Infini’Silk review 50,000 pulses