Panasonic ES-ED90-p Wet/Dry Epilator Review
Panasonic's ES-ED90-p Epilator is rechargeable, designed for cordless use and can be used wet or dry.
It can double as a shaver, using the easily interchangeable shaving head with pop-up trimmer.
The pedicure buffer head is a great added bonus.
Featuring a 60 degree flexible head, it easily fits against the skin at all times, to pick up and remove hair as short as 0.5mm in length.
The product comes complete with a 2 year limited manufacturer's warranty, covering defects (USA and Puerto Rico) or 1 year's Pan European Warranty (in all cases you will need to provide your receipt and warranty documentation (issued at time of purchase).
Other models in the series are the Panasonic ES-ED70-G (5 attachments - excludes pedicure buffer) and the Panasonic ES-ED50-N (4 attachments - excludes compact gentle epilator head and pedicure buffer).
What's In the Box?
The contents of the box are as follows:
- Main Body - (with main epilation head and fast cap already attached)
- Epilation Head for Legs and Arms - complete with fast cap, gentle cap and protection cap for storage.
- Epilation Head for Underarms and Bikini-line - also complete with protection cap for storage
- Shaver Head
- Foot care head - with protection cap
- AC Adaptor
- Cleaning Brush
- Full Operating Instructions
- Guarantee Details
- Storage Pouch
The device has two speeds - "normal" and "soft". When you turn on the epilator by pressing the button on the front, the epilator automatically operates at normal speed.
Normal mode is the faster of the two and allows for epilation to be performed in the shortest time.
To change to soft, press the button again - a green lamp will light up to indicate that the device is in soft mode.
Soft mode slows the rotation speed of the discs to minimize personal discomfort and irritation.
To turn off the epilator, press the button once again.
Wet or Dry Operation
The device is full re-chargeable for cordless wet or dry use (cannot be used whilst plugged into the mains).
Full re-charging takes about one hour and gives 30 minutes epilation time. This is increased to about 40 minutes when using the gentle cap.
A red light comes on to indicate that the device is charging and it goes out once full charge has been achieved and it is ready.
A shaving cream or gel may be used with the epilator or shaver when using the device wet.
There is a built-in LED light which comes on automatically when the device is turned on.
This is positioned to illuminate the area being epilated or shaved to increase efficieny by showing up any lighter, thinner and harder-to-see hairs that might otherwise be missed.
Main (Pivoting) Epilator Head
The main epilator head is wide and has a series of 48 rotary tweezers, providing wide skin coverage, suitable for use on legs and arms.
It comes with 2 easily snapped on cap attachments, one for fast epilation and one for gentle epilation, recommended for first time users or those with sensitive skin.
As you can see from picture B, the gentle cap has a skin protector to hold skin down whilst epilating. This provides a gentler epilation designed to keep discomfort to a minimum.
This epilator head pivots by 60 degrees (30 forward and 30 backwards) so that good contact can be easily maintained with the skin around all contours of the treatment area.
Gentle Epilator Head
The narrower, gentle epilation head is designed for use on the more sensitive underarm and bikini line areas.
There are 18 sets of tweezers on this head - 9 on each side in sets of 3.
The heads are easily interchangeable by pressing the release button on the back of the device and pulling away. The new head can then be clicked into place.
The shaver head (1) features hypo-allergenic blades and foil and a pop-up trimmer (2) for long hairs and trimming the bikini-line.
The pop-up trimmer is revealed by pushing up the mechanism on the front of the shaver head (as shown). It is concealed after use by simply pushing the mechanism back down again.
There is a bikini comb attachment (3) which can be snapped onto the shaver head to gently trim the bikini area and keep it neat and tidy.
Foot Care Head
The foot care head is for filing calluses and hardened skin on the feet only, typically found around the heel and ball of the foot.
It should not be used on blisters, corns or warts.
It is designed for dry use , not in the bath or shower, although it is recommended for use within 30 minutes of bathing or showering, when the feet are clean and dry and the skin is softened.
How the Epilator Works
Essentially, epilators work in the same way as tweezers, but are able to pluck multiple hairs at once, making them much quicker and suitable for large areas.
The Panasonic ES-ED90-p has 48 sets of rotating metal plates in pairs, 24 sets on each side, in rows of four.
As the sets rotate the plates are brought together to grasp the hairs and pluck them from the root.
As it continues to rotate the plates are parted to release the hairs, ready for the next lot.
How Painful is it?
This is the obvious next question, and is rather subjective, depending upon the area of the body being treated and each individual's pain threshold.
Simply, because the hairs are pulled out at the root, epilating is painful - if you have used tweezers, then perhaps you can imagine the pain from plucking one hair multiplied many times.
Some find that it is not for them, whilst others persevere and report that with regular use the pain reduces and over time becomes easily tolerable.
You can take steps to ensure that the pain is kept to a minimum:
- Exfoliate - make sure the area has been exfoliated to remove dead skin cells and bacteria
- Shower - or bath prior to epilating as this opens the pores and helps the hair to be released more easily
- Hold Skin Taut - avoids the possibility of "pinching" and pulling at the skin and helps the hairs to stand up
- Dry - rub in a little baby powder to further help hairs stand up
- Wet - you can use foam or gel with the epilator which seems to help ease the pain (be aware though, that this tends to make the epilator less effective and so it takes longer)
- Trim - trim long hairs prior to epilating - the longer the hair the more pain is felt
Where Can it be Used?
The epilator is suitable for use on the legs and arms using the main head.
Underarms and bikini line can be epilated using the smaller, gentle head.
You should put on your bikini bottoms or panties before you epilate so that you only treat the area that you need, away from the genital region.
The epilator should not be used on inner side of upper arms, knees or elbows as it may be painful and/or lead to skin troubles
How Long Does it Take?
How long it will take depends on the area being treated and which speed you are using.
As a rough guide, we found that around 20 minutes was sufficient to epilate both legs using the large head in normal mode.
It is recommended that underarms are epilated around once a week and arms and legs, once a fortnight for optimum results.
Side effects from epilating are few and mainly transient:
- Redness and/or irritation of the skin
- An open pore look, like a plucked bird
- Tiny red blood spots
These quickly pass and are likely to lessen over time, as the skin becomes more tolerant and regrowth is finer and less dense.
It is advisable to use the epilator when you are not planning to go out imminently, until you know how your skin is going to react.
A more tedious side effect of epilating, as with any method which pulls hair from the root (and indeed, shaving) can be ingrown hairs.
With careful preparation and after care, as explained in the "how to use" section below, this risk can be minimised.
How to Use the Epilator
It is important to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully, especially all the safety precautions prior to use.
Below is given a basic summary of how to use the ES-ED90-p as per the quick user guide provided with the device.
- Choose Epilator Head - depending on the area to be treated, choose either the large, pivoting head for legs or arms or the compact, gentle epilator head if you are epilating underarms or bikini-line.
- Attach Correct Cap - this applies if you are using the main head, you can choose the fast cap or gentle cap (recommended for first-time users or those with sensitive skin).
- Hair Length - ensure that the length of hair being epilated is no more than 2 - 3mm, if longer, trim first
- Clean and Dry - ensure skin is clean and dry (it is a good idea to exfoliate regularly between epilations to ensure no dry skin cells or bacteria lurking)
- Select Speed Setting - choose between normal or soft modes as described in the features section (green light appears when in soft mode)
- 90 Degree Angle - the epilator must be held at a 90 degree angle to the skin for good results
- Light Pressure - the device should be held lightly against the skin (do not press too hard) so that it glides across the skin
- Taut Skin - make sure skin is held as taut as possible with your spare hand to make hairs stand up and reduce risk of "pinching"
- Legs - move the epilator slowly upwards from the bottom of the leg (against the natural hair's growth)
- Arms - move inwards across from the outside of the arm
- Underarm/Bikini - move the device in several directions as the hair does not all grow in one direction
Basic instructions are the same, but prior to wet epilating:
- Wet Skin - first wet your skin
- Wet Discs - apply water to the epilator discs
- Use Shower Gel - apply a small amount directly to the epilator discs
- Select Mode - as the device operates, foam is created
The device should be operated within a temperature range of 5 - 35 degrees centigrade.
- Dry - remove head and cap from epilator and gently but thoroughly brush clean using the brush provided
- Wet - wet the discs and blades and apply liquid hand soap, turn the switch on so that the soap foams up.
- Rinse - rinse the head thoroughly under running warm (not hot) water until the soap is completely gone
- Switch off - and dry device gently with a cloth, making sure that it is dried very thoroughly
Always replace protection caps to the head after use for safe storage, to preserve the life of your epilator plates.
Why Choose an Epilator?
Epilating is a popular form of hair removal for many ladies and has a few advantages over shaving or waxing:
- Longer lasting results than shaving - just like waxing, epilators remove hair at the root rather than cutting it off at the skin's surface. The results therefore last longer - in some cases up to 4 weeks depending on the area its normal rate of regrowth
- Finer Regrowth than shaving - hair that is "plucked" from the root tends to grow back finer in appearance and without the "stubble" effect of shaving
- Surrounding skin not affected - unlike waxing, which can remove the top layer of skin along with the hair
- More flexible than waxing - many epilators, just like the Panasonic ES-ED90-p can be used wet if desired
- Less messy than waxing - and so, more convenient
- Can treat very short regrowth - unlike waxing, epilators can pick up hairs as short as 0.5mm
We have published a separate article with full information on the pros and cons of epilating vs waxing.
The advantages that use of an epilator for hair removal has over shaving are clear, but of course shaving has the major plus of being pain-free.
Questions and Answers
Where is the Panasonic ES-ED90-p Made?
It is made in China
Can the epilator be used on the face?
It is intended for use only on legs, arms, underarms and bikini line
Can the battery be replaced?
With normal use i.e. recharging once a week, the battery should last around 3 years. It can be replaced, but only by an authorised service centre
How long does the battery last when charged?
The epilator can be used for 30 - 40 minutes on a full battery charge
Can the epilator be used while it is plugged in?
No - it is only for cordless use
Is it possible to purchase replacement parts e.g. foot buffer stone?
Yes, if you look at the Panasonic website and find the product, available accessories are shown on the page
How often do you need to epilate?
As a recommended guide, approximately once a week for underarms and fortnightly for legs and arms
Can the foot buffer be used on corns or warts?
Definitely not - it is only for calluses and build up of rough skin on the feet
How do you know which speed the device is on as there is only one button?
There is a green light which is illuminated when the device is in "soft" mode, which is the slower speed
This is a good, efficient product from a well-respected Brand.
Current retail price is around $68, so you get a lot of added extras for your dollar.
The epilator is versatile, offering both quick and gentler epilation, suitable for larger areas or the more sensitive underarms and bikini-line areas.
I found it to be very efficient at removing hairs with few passes, and this is borne out by the many good online reviews for the product.
The shaver, whilst a good addition for bikini trimming and shaving before epilation, is probably not as efficient at achieving a close shave as your usual dedicated electric shaver.
The foot buffer is a great added bonus and works very well.
If you are looking for a versatile, efficient epilator with plenty of added extras, this device comes well recommended.
Things we Liked
- Good Looking, sturdy device - Pink and feminine, weighty in the hand, good to grip
- Pivoting 48 Tweezer Head - great for larger areas, nice and quick, pivoting head a really good design feature to help keep it at the correct angle
- Compact Head - for more comfortable and precise epilating of underarms and bikini-line
- Wet or Dry - like the option for wet or dry operation
- Cordless Use - nice and convenient
- Interchangeable Caps - for fast or gentle use
- Shaver Head - complete with pop-up trimmer
- Foot Buffer - a great addition for all-in-one beauty care (works really well)
- LED Light - helps to see the shorter, finer hairs
- Value for Money - you get a lot of "bells and whistles" for the current retails price of $85
Things we didn't Like
- Pain - As with all epilators, the process is painful
- Limited Battery Time - full charge lasts 30 minutes, not long enough to do legs, arms, underarms and bikini in one go - cannot be used whilst charging