Tried & tested | IPL & Laser Reviews

Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL review

A quick summary…

by | November 16, 2018

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, sometimes for under £150. The IPL facial attachment doubles as a skin brightening tool on safe skin tones too.

4.3 / 5

Face & small bits

💰💰 to 💰💰💰💰

Safe Fitzpatrick skin tones:

Hair colours it works on:

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.

The Panasonic ES WH90
Ideal design for facial hair removal PLUS it brightens skin

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.

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

Pros ✔️

  • 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


  • 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

🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Order via

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

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.

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.

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.

Panasonic ES WH90 IPL review device shape duo
Gentle curves and a disctinctive shape. 21cm long and 360g
Panasonic ESWH90 review best for facial use1
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.

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.
Panasonic ES WH90 IPL review facial close up
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.

Panasonic ES WH90 IPL review in left hand 3
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.

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

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.

❌ 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.

Panasonic ES WH90 IPL review 3 intensity lights multi
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.

Should I buy it?

Yes. 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.


  • 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
  • The 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


  • 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 🙏!

Panasonic ES-WH90 deals:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
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Dermaplaning tools are an excellent alternative to shaving your face!

Dermaplaning tool deals

Links with 🍃 have a handle made from biodegradable materials.

Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 9 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

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