We analyze both the attractive and repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz forces recently reported in experimental investigations. By using a kinetic approach, we obtain the Casimir forces from the power absorbed by the materials. We consider collective material excitations through a set of relaxation times distributed in frequency according to a log-normal function. A generalized expression for these forces for arbitrary values of temperature is obtained. We compare our results with experimental measurements and conclude that the model goes beyond the proximity-force approximation.