Reviewed: Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum Is a Punch Above the Rest

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Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum

Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Lightweight, cooling gel consistency

  • A little goes a long way

  • Sinks in quickly

  • Non-greasy

  • Clean ingredients effectively target many common aging concerns

What We Don't Like
  • Strong fragrance may irritate some

Is this the most advanced in terms of cutting-edge technology and innovative ingredients? Certainly not. But as with every product from Kiehl’s, you’re getting plenty of tried-and-true wisdom and ingredients that time has proven work. Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum adds a hefty dose of anti-aging, skin health-boosting power to your routine. It does not, however, contain any actives such as retinol or acids, making it ideal for those who seek anti-aging skincare that’s on the gentler end of the spectrum.


Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum

Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I’ll admit I was reluctant to try Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum, as it’s touted as a men’s product and, let’s be honest, nine out of ten products targeted to men end up being little more than basic formulations with a dash of “masculine” fragrance thrown in to make it jive with the rest of the routine. Not so with this. Kiehl’s did some pretty intense work when it came to the Age Defender line overall, and the ingredients list certainly reflects this. Antioxidants, collagen-boosters, skin-strengtheners: it’s all there, putting this serum in a completely different category from the outset.

Despite the “defender” part of the name, this Kiehl’s men’s skincare serum is both preventative and reparative, staving off telltale signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles while ever-so-effectively undoing the damage that’s already been done by firming up sagging skin and giving skin that just-shaved freshness. 

If you’re looking to ramp up your everyday routine with something that contains a little more oomph, keep reading to see how Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum measured up. 

Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum

Best for: Most skin types, including normal, combination, dry, and sensitive. 

Uses: Battles visible signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging, while evening tone and improving skin's overall condition. 

Star rating: 4/5

Potential Allergens: Added fragrance

Active Ingredients: Adenosine, Cypress Extract. 

Byrdie Clean? Yes

Price: $50 for 2.5 fl. oz.

About the Brand: From a tiny Manhattan apothecary in 1851, Kiehl’s has grown to become one of the world’s most loved skin and body care brands. Known for bringing natural ingredients to the forefront, Kiehl’s is famous for more cult products than you can count. 

About My Skin: Moody and sensitive

Getting an accurate read of my skin type is akin to checking the weather forecast—you never know what a new day will bring. I tend to be slightly dry overall, but with plenty of surface oiliness and an inclination to sensitivity. It’s not uncommon for me to have a day of great skin followed by scattered blotchiness. I’ve learned how to more or less control it with the right products over the years. 

The Feel: A fresh, lightweight gel

Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum comes out as an almost translucent gel and spreads nicely over the skin. There’s an instant cooling sensation as well, which I especially appreciated first thing in the morning. One pump is really all you need for your entire face. The serum takes a minute or two to sink in, and then you can follow with your moisturizer or whatever product you’d normally layer afterwards without worrying about it being greasy. 

The Scent: Minty, menthol-y freshness

While I did enjoy the scent—a rush of menthol that felt like a whoosh of fresh air—I’m not really a fan of fragrance in skincare, especially in a serum whose purpose it is to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. In fact, my skin is often sensitive to fragrance. Thankfully, Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum didn’t cause any irritation, but I could definitely do without the added scent.

The Ingredients: Gentle anti-agers pack a punch

One thing I really like about Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum is its gentle approach to anti-aging, using an arsenal of ingredients that are effective without causing irritation as a side effect. It does contain alcohol denat which I know some people are averse to because of its potentially drying effects, but as this serum left me feeling plenty hydrated, I can’t complain. Here’s a quick rundown of what makes Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum tick: 

  • Adenosine: Derived from the fermentation of yeast, adenosine is know for its ability to lessen the surface appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Cypress Extract: Compounds found within this evergreen tree help to strengthen skin, improving its overall resilience. 
  • Glycerin: A humectant that helps bind water to the skin for a plumped, more supple look. 
  • Caffeine: Applied topically, caffeine can help boost circulation, reduce puffiness, and wake skin up for a more toned complexion. 

How to Apply: Feel free to layer

Serums are meant to layer, as they help amp up the ingredients in your other products. So, while you'll want to apply this to clean, dry skin, you can add moisturizer (or night or day cream) over top.

The Results: Left my skin looking healthy and even-toned

Kiehl's Age Defender Power Serum Results on Bryan Levandowski

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

I’ll be completely honest and admit that before trying Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum, I’d already found my go-to—a niacinamide-containing wonder that I’ll hopefully get to review in the future. So I was curious to see if this one would live up to the same results, and I have to say—it came pretty darn close. What I love most about my favorite serum is its ability to calm my skin and help with the condition of my pores. And looks aside, it’s also important that it contain proven anti-aging ingredients because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. After five or so days of using this new Kiehl’s serum both morning and night, I can report that my skin is definitely calm. The fine lines around my eyes are still there, but appear a bit plumper—mostly thanks to the surface hydration the product helps retain. And overall, it makes my face feel refreshed and enlivened.

The Value: Definitely worth it

At $50 a pop, Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum isn’t exactly a drugstore bargain, but does it warrant such a price, all things considered? You bet it does. As someone who obsesses over ingredient lists and sees through many of today’s marketing tactics, I can definitely say Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum delivers on the promises it makes.

Similar Products: You've got options

Brickell Reviving Day Serum for Men: This day serum from Brickell ($55) is packed with protein peptides to boost collagen production, hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate, and aloe vera to soothe and protect skin. Plus, it comes in scented and unscented versions, so it's a solid choice whether you enjoy fragrance or are looking to avoid it.

Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum: The ingredients of Jack Black's peptide-packed, high-tech anti-aging serum ($62) sound more like the cast of a Star Wars sequel. Just a few are Matrixyl 3000, Renovage, Syn-Ake, and Dynalift, which smooth over lines and wrinkles and reduce age-related hyperpigmentation. 

Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum: Stacked with antioxidants, skin soothers, and powerful hydrators, Lab Series' everyday serum ($67) is great for tackling any existing signs of aging while also acting as insurance against future damage. 

Final Verdict

If what you’re after is a no-nonsense way to up your skincare game by adding proven anti-aging ingredients without wreaking havoc on your skin or breaking the bank, Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum may be the daily dose of oomph you’re after.


  • Product Name Age Defender Power Serum
  • Product Brand Kiehl's
  • Price $50.00
  • Weight 2.5 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat., Isononyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Phenoxyethanol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Fragrance, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Propylene Glycol, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Soybean Oil, Caffeine, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Limonene, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Disodium Edta, Adenosine, T-Butyl Alcohol, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Cryptomeria Japonica Bud Extract, Linalool, Citral.

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