Sarah Kinonen
April 28, 2015 01:00 PM

Alison Sweeney has had a whirlwind year (and it’s only April!). She’s gearing up to reprise her role as Sami Brady on Days of Our Lives (a job she’s had for 22 years) for its 50th anniversary, spends as much time with her two children as possible and remains focused on her other day job: hosting The Biggest Loser. And now, the TV host is taking on another role for a great cause: She’s partnering with Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Collection to help raise cancer awareness and funds for City of Hope. We chatted with the star to get the exclusive scoop on her charitable new gig, plus her best beauty tips and how she manages to steer clear of the chip-and-dip table at summer parties.

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The 38-year-old is proud to have joined the Truly Radiant Collection campaign, sharing that she loves to inspire others to feel beautiful and radiant in their own way. “So Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant has come up with this wonderful idea of having people celebrate their own truly radiant finish online,” she told PEOPLE. “So I Tweeted [about] me running the L.A. Marathon a couple of years ago with the hashtag #trulyradiantfinish, and for every person who Tweets me back using the hashtag and posts a photo of something that made them feel truly radiant, we will donate one dollar to City of Hope.”

So when does the star feel most beautiful and radiant? When she’s surrounded by loved ones. “To be honest, I think I feel most beautiful when I’m with my family and I’m totally casual and having a great time,” she said. “The beauty is really more about how [being around my family] makes me feel and just being a part of that is an opportunity to enjoy being natural and having fun with it. When I’m all dressed up I feel worse. But part of that being casual and natural is that I’ve prepared myself. I start my day with brushing my teeth with Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant, and making sure I use the rinse, not only do you feel like you have a strong and clean white smile, but you’re also taking care of yourself.”

Another beauty tip Sweeney swears by? Getting plenty of rest. “Sleep is really important, and it’s good for you — it’s good for your skin,” she shared. “They say the best plastic surgery is when people say, ‘Oh, you look so well-rested.’ That’s what you want. And it’s like, here’s a tip: How about you get more well-rested, that might help?”

Everything I need in my daily routine for a beautifully strong #TrulyRadiant smile. #ad

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney) on

Aside from keeping up with her beauty routine, staying fit is very important to The Biggest Loser host. (Plus, it’s also a major part of her job!) So while finding time to squeeze in a workout isn’t easy, it’s still a priority. “It’s so tough, I’ll be honest. It’s exhausting,” she said. “Everybody knows, who works and is a mom, that whatever obligations you have in the day, it’s really important to make [working out] a priority, and you have to commit yourself mentally — that’s the most important battle. This is what I need to take care of myself, this is what I need to be strong, to keep up my stamina, my strength and to be there for my kids. And you just have to make that choice; nobody can do it for you.”

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So what is the fit mom’s workout of choice? Running! “My go-to is grabbing a pair of sneakers and hitting the streets or the trails for a run, that would be like the no-mess, no-stress workout that gets the job done. And I do now sort of have grown to love running,” she said. “But I also really try to encourage people to break out of their routine and try new things like I have to force myself sometimes, to do something new and different. Whether it’s a new yoga class or something different that you’ve never tried before, going to work out with a friend … just break it up and keep your mind in the game. I think it’s really important to stay focused.”

We also had to ask Sweeney about her healthy-eating habits — and whether or not she avoids snack tables and guacamole at summer soirées. “There’s nothing wrong with guacamole; I’m a big fan!,” she told PEOPLE. “That’s the thing, I think you’re surrounded by temptations and you have to make the right decisions for yourself. So if you’re going somewhere where you don’t know what’s going to be available, I always recommend eating before you go. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you have something healthy in your stomach, whatever it is you’re around, you’re going to end up eating less of it than if you try to starve yourself, trying to save calories like playing a calorie game, I think you wind up in trouble.”

Tune in to Sweeney’s newest show (she’s starring in and producing) the Murder She Baked franchise of movies for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Her first movie, Murder She Baked: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery, premieres Saturday, May 2 at 9 p.m. on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

What do you think of Alison’s stay-fit-for-summer advice? Learn anything new about the star? Share below!

–Sarah Kinonen

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