For those of you who have not yet read the news entry at blendernation about Simulating Area Lights With Ramp Shaders I can only recommend it.
I played around a bit with the material-nodes version venomgfx showd on hte end of his tutorial and made some changes to use it for skin. I’m not really good at creating these things, but I think it turned out quite good. I’m just posting this here so everybody can have a look and maybe use it and/or improve on it. .blend file on request (the material has some additional textures to add some different colors to the basic skin).
(Head model by “Jorge” IIRC)
Material node setup
EDIT: Some changes to the procedural texture + a bit of composition-editing …
PS: I don’t know if the support/texture forum is the right place for this, but i just want to show a type of shading/lighting. If s/b thinks it doesn’t belong here feel free to move it.