By Jackie Fields
Updated April 30, 2015 04:42 PM

Whenever Helen Hunt steps out on the red carpet, we’re drawn to her relaxed glamour. At 51, she has skin more radiant than women half her age. And when we caught a glimpse of her surfing skills in the movie
(which hits theaters and VOD Friday) — well, we weren’t quite ready to (wet)suit up ourselves, but we sure did want to pick up some of her surfer-girl beauty tips.

Though we were sad to learn there’s no magic potion for that glow (she swears she doesn’t “use a lot of products”), Hunt did share some sage advice — including how she keeps her body in shape (so she can continue kicking butt on a surfboard, we’re sure).

Rachel Murray/Getty

In Ride, Hunt plays an N.Y.C. editor who winds up on the West Coast hitting the waves pretty hard. (Her character’s amazing personal journey inspired the film’s collaboration with beauty brand Clinique and its #StartBetter campaign.) And in real life, Hunt has surfed for years, which is why we were shocked to hear the seemingly fearless actress describe herself as “whiny” the moment she’s about to hang 10. “You would hear me swearing like a sailor if you were paddling next to me,” she admits. Even if Hunt is on the verge of a panic attack, she sure looks fabulous out there. Hunt credits her enviable physique to a combo of biking, hiking and yoga — “you [have to] do a little bit of everything.”

But when it comes to her everyday style, Hunt couldn’t be more laid-back. “The people I work with beg me to put on something other than sweatpants, like, ‘Please, please don’t go out in another pair.’ ” But even the easygoing Hunt can’t resist glamming up for red carpets like the film’s Tuesday premiere. “I didn’t go to my high school prom, so I try to turn those events into a prom moment.”

And she may not be slathering herself in creams, but she swears by one beauty philosophy: “Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself. That’s kind of the aspiration that I hope I will achieve at least by the time I get to my death bed.” Hunt also makes sure her 10-year-old daughter Makena’s perspective is equally healthy. “We watch very little in the way of television and commercials. I don’t want her head there, I want her head in what she’s painting, thinking, singing or learning on the violin as long as I possibly can.”

Is your style super casual like Hunt’s? Tell us in the comments below.

–Jackie Fields