I had recently played around with Subsurface shading and shaded a character that I had sculpted in Zbrush using SSS in order to become more familiar with lighting, shading and rendering features in Autodesk Maya.
I used an extensive Skin Shading tutorial by Alex Alvarez from Gnomonology.com to guide me, and I would recommend it to anyone pursuing realistic skin-shading.
In my experience, Maya can often be so technical for the artist that it's frustrating to the limit. That's why I love the intuitive Zbrush and Photoshop which is for artists rather than technicians on the otherhand, and that's why most of my previous projects were created and rendered using these two programs. However, I do understand that an external renderer can never be replaced and that's why I pushed myself to learn SSS for once and for all. Here are the results: